Album Reviews

H.E.A.T – Address the Nation Review

Released By : Gain Records

Genre : Melodic Rock

Link : http://www.heatsweden.com/

 

Lineup:

Erik Gronwall – Vocals

Eric Rivers – Guitars

Dave Dalone – Guitars

Jona Tee – Keyboards

Jimmy Jay – Bass

Crash – Drums

 

Tracklist:

01. Breaking The Silence

02. Living On The Run

03. Falling Down

04. The One And Only

05. Better Off Alone

06. In And Out Of Trouble

07. Need Her

08. Heartbreaker

09. It’s All About Tonight

10. Downtown

 

As some of you may recall, I am big fan of H.E.A.T.  I rated their debut album at 9 out of ten, then their 2010 follow up FREEDOM ROCK with a perfect 10 score. I have also been known to say that Kenny Leckremo is the best modern era melodic rock singer and shall be remembered in time as one of the best to have ever graced the genre. That being said I was truly shattered when I first heard about Kenny’s departure and was almost certain that it would spell the end for H.E.A.T as a band.

Eventually when word got out that the band were looking for a new singer and felt they still had something to offer the melodic rock universe my mind began racing through all of the possible replacements and I was frantically trying to work out all of the great singers that were actually available at that time. I began with a list of around twelve and narrowed it down to what I though should have been the three singers H.E.A.T should have been trying to sign up. When the rumors began circling that the band had joined forces with 2009 Swedish Idol winner Erik Gronwall I honestly thought it was only a joke, but out of interests sake decided to seek out his previous work. Upon listening to it I was certain he wasn’t the right man for the job, then it was merely days later that the official statement arrived proving the rumor to be true. Now I’m sure I’m not the only one who wrote the band off at that particular point but I guess you’ve always got to hope that band’s know what they are doing. Over the following few months, small clips and snippets of H.E.A.T with Erik Gronwall playing live were circling the internet and while none of them blew me away I did at least feel that they still sounded pretty good. But the big, underlying question was…How in the world is the band’s next album going to sound? And would the decision to team up with Erik Gronwall prove to be a resounding success or a stunning failure?

It takes around forty seconds to get to the actual beginning of the opening track BREAKING THE SILENCE, but as soon as it did, and Gronwall released his first line all of my fears were instantly quelled and I was truly, truly pumped up! H.E.A.T have shown how much they like to begin their albums with a big, powerful track and luckily for us ADDRESS THE NATION is no different. LIVING ON THE RUN is a heavily keyboard laden AOR track straight out of 1986 and once again features a fantastic vocal effort courtesy of Gronwall. FALLING DOWN turns the keyboard down in favor of a good old guitar rock tune, and while it’s not the best moment of the album the guitar work is really kick-ass. THE ONE AND ONLY is the album’s big ballad moment and a great opportunity for Gronwall to show the world what he’s got, and let me tell you…It’s ALL good. BETTER OFF ALONE is another big fist-pumper with a real classic FOREIGNER vibe and does a great job of bringing the album back up a notch. IN AND OUT OF TROUBLE adds a slight Westcoast rock vibe with the addition of some really nice saxophone work and a really smooth groove to go with it, then it also adds some of those great multi-layered backing vocals that made the previous album such a treat to listen to. NEED HER is the only slightly flat spot of the album and while it’s not really a bad tune it falls short of some of the better work on offer here. HEARTBREAKER is a great tune that mixes FOREIGNER with DEF LEPPARD to great effect and is yet another pure melodic rock gem. IT’S ALL ABOUT TONIGHT is something a little different for the band and gives off a slightly modern-ish funky groove that reminds me a bit of the trademark CHICKENFOOT feel, but with the addition of a pure eighties chorus. Each H.E.A.T album has had one song that sounds like it was custom made to be on a soundtrack for an eighties movie, and with closing track DOWNTOWN the band have provided on that front yet again.

ADDRESS THE NATION is an absolute success in every way imaginable, and H.E.A.T have proven that they can still have a long and successful career without the mighty Kenny Leckremo. FREEDOM ROCK is still probably what I would consider the band’s overall shining moment, but this follow up is pretty close too and more importantly Erik Gronwall has completely embraced the H.E.A.T way of thinking and is a very worthy member that is well suited to take the band into the future.

 

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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