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Hard Way


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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Hard Way 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Tell Her 3:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Don't Do Me No Favours 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Carina 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. She's Got A Way 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Til The End 4:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Hand It Over 3:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Jacqueline 2:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Class Act 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Ain't Goin' Nowhere 2:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Believe Me Baby 2:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Strange But True 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Minute By Minute - Trailer
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Hard Way + People Gonna Talk + Minute By Minute
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hear Music
  • ASIN: B0016OMFPM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,563 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Eagerly awaited 2008 album from the British retro-Soul singing sensation, the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk album from 2006. The Hard Way is Hunter's giant step toward staking his place in the Pop-Soul pantheon alongside Same Cook, Jackie Wilson, Charlie Rich and Van Morrison. Three of the album's cuts feature special guest Allen Toussaint on piano. 12 tracks.

Amazon.com

When the notoriously private Van Morrison praises a particular musician, that individual merits a closer look. Meet British R&B sensation James Hunter, who counts the Belfast troubadour among his biggest boosters (Morrison also appears on his 1996 debut, ...Believe What I Say). Recorded at London's Toe Rag Studios, an analogue favorite of Billy Childish and the White Stripes, The Hard Way showcases a rough and ready voice that recalls Sam Cooke and Georgie Fame after a few smokes and a tasteful, minimalist six-string approach. If Hunter eschews modernity, The Hard Way plays more like a reinvention of 1950s forms than a mere throwback. In that sense, the Colchester native performs a similar function to former touring partner Chris Isaak. His fourth platter adds New Orleans flavor thanks to famed producer/pianist Allen Toussaint, who guests on three tracks. With no covers and no filler, The Hard Way looks set to garner Hunter a second Grammy nod--if not a first win. As Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have proven, keeping soul alive in the 2000s isn't just about getting the sound right, but about nailing that non-ironic feel, and James Hunter performs his neo-classic tunes like he means every note. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

The man has impeccable good taste!
Mike B.
The songs are better, the band is excellent, the arrangements are perfect and Hunter's guitar solos - tight cameos all - add bluesy spice.
Steve Ford
To listen to James play is as good as it gets......enjoy!
jcs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mike B. on June 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
James Hunter is less Sam Cooke on this one, and more Ray Charles. He's clearly been absorbing the Atlantic/Stax catalogue - which is a great thing. Why not learn from the best?

Like on his previous CD, it's all original material. Hunter continues to exhibit his rare gift for writing songs that come out sounding like old r&b classics from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. And that's not easy. In fact, I can't think of any other current artist able to do it!

This is punchier, with more grit and growl than the ultra-smooth "People Gonna Talk" - and better reflects the energy of his "live" show. It's another beautifully paced mixture of mid-tempo and up-tempo compositions, with only a couple slow numbers. Many tracks feature prominent sax, keyboards, and sometimes a low-key violin section. As a whole, it rocks a little more than its predecessor - and has a somewhat looser, more organic feel to it. He sounds more contemporary. Lyrically, these are songs of unrequited love - the romantic pleas of a persistent suitor - but they're never sad or morose. A couple others offer hard-won advice gleaned from life lessons. In either case, he lets you know he's a survivor and a fighter.

For a guitar hotshot, Hunter seems to prefer being an understated team player - really letting loose only a few times. "Don't Do Me No Favours", "Til The End", and "Ain't Goin' Nowhere" all contain incendiary guitar work. "Carina" is similar to "Mollena" from the last CD. It's a sound I love - like Ben E. King and the Drifters. "She's Got A Way" slightly resembles Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman", while "Believe Me Baby" channels Ray's "What'd I Say" with a chorus nod to Rufus Thomas' "Walking The Dog" (featuring great Allen Toussaint piano).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard James Hunter, I thought I'd missed something from the 60's. Something really good, that is--something I'd have dug a quarter out of my ragged jeans to hear on the jukebox good.

The reviewers who describe Hunter's voice as a growl are right--but he can purr, too. This is a strong entree into the new retro soul movement and a very welcome one. The beat's strong here and you just want to get up and dance.

So far, "Believe me Baby," "The Hard Way" and "Don't do me no Favours" are my top favorites of this CD, but I suspect I'm going to have a new favorite each time I listen. Love it--brand new and sounding like a classic.

Rebecca Kyle, June 2008
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pamela S. Steen on August 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I couldn't imagine who was singing those soulful, Motown, Temptations-like tunes I grew up with from CKLW when I heard them on WMNF only 2 months ago. This is a great addition to my CD collection. No better purchase can be made if you love the Temptations and R & B from the 60's and early 70's...What a great voice, excellent backups and musicians who do it the right way. I am so glad I bought it. Just purchased two more of his CDs. Thanks for having it in stock!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Williamson on June 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought James Hunters previous album just because I liked the cover photo! First track had me thinking 'not my kinda music', by the end I just started it up from the beginning again - not done that in years! Since then delving into his back catalog has yielded still more warm, genuine and heartfelt music - label it what you will as 'soul', 'R&B", 'blue eyed soul' does not really do his contemporary, but retro, song style justice.

The guy can not only sing with grit and authentic emotion, he plays a mean lead guitar that does not get in the way of the song. The band are exemplary with great grooves and awesome brass (plus the best sax solo in years). Each song has a mood and a comfortable feel but with the wit and twists to make it all James's personal statement.

Recorded at a back to basics 50/60's equipment studio in London, this album captures the feeling of a bygone age without ever feeling stale or dated - more like rediscovering what makes music great in this pro-tools digitized age.

Whatever music you are into, if this album doesnt raise a smile, tap a toe or get you shouting 'Oh Yeah!!!' at least three times, check your pulse - you may be dead.

Get it - you wont regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jcs on July 28, 2008
Format: Vinyl
In my humble opinion, James Hunter is musics most underrated performer. He simply puts out tremendous music, plays intimate venues that allow you to be fortunate enough to be there listening. If you ever get the chance, try to see him in concert or at least get his CD to listen to truly one of musics magical performers. If you get the idea that i think he is pretty good, that would be an understatement. To listen to James play is as good as it gets......enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richie Libertine on August 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
James Hunter new release "The Hard Way" meets the challenge of putting out an album that rivals his previous release, "People Gonna Talk." Although Hunter shows his rockin' fervor with "Don't do me no favors" and "Jacqueline," he shows his balladeer expertise with "Hand it Over" and the ska tinged "Carina."
As in previous albums, his voice hearkens back to Jackie Wilson, which he does with the title track and "Ain't going nowhere". However, their seems to be more of a Ray Charles influence, which is evident in the aforementioned "Don't do me no favors,""She's got a Way" and "Believe me Baby."
Credit is also due to Hunter's backing band that is tight sounding as ever. If you get to see them in concert, you will be energized and buzzed all night long.
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