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The Hard Way

OwsleyAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Price: $12.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2013 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2003 $12.98  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Be With You 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rise 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. She's the One 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dude 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Down 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Matriarch 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Undone 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Hard Way 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Dirty Bird 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rainy Day People 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 2, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lakeview Entertainment
  • ASIN: B00013M0NQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,222 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hailing from Alabama, Owsley has been nurturing and honing his own unique and virally-infectious melodies for some time. His debut album Owsley received huge praise from the media. People Magazine heralded him "poised for overnight success," while Rolling Stone trumpeted "Beatle-esque balladry and magnetic pop hooks." His latest release "The Hard Way" continues his road to perfection. Sultry love songs rub against the hookiest pop south of Canada. Check out why his legion of fans are growing by the minute. This is a true masterpeice of pop craftsmanship.

Band Members: Will Owsley-Electric guitars on all songs, acoustic guitar on track 3 and 8, piano on track 6 and 7, pass guitar on track 5, 6 and 8, vocals and background vocals on all songs Chris McHugh-Drums and percussion on all songs Michael Rhodes-Bass guitar on track 3,9 and 10 Jimmie Lee Sloas-Bass guitar on track 1 and 7 Millard Powers-Bass guitar on track 4 Jonathon Hamby-all Hammond B3 organ, piano on track 4, Chamberlin strings on track 5 and synthesizer on track 9 Keith Thomas-Strings on track 1 and 6 John Painter-Chamberlin strings on track 2 Gordon Kennedy-Electric guitar and background vocals on track 7 Tom Bukovac-Electric and acoustic guitar on track 1, bass guitar on track 2 Rebecca Walker-Background vocals on track 10 Simon Petty-Harmonica on track 8 (Appears courtesy of Foodchain Records) James Michael-Vocal production on track 8


"Beatles-esque balladry and magnetic pop hooks" -- Michael Moses, Rolling Stone, April 8, 1999

"Owsley prefers to paint luch pop-art pictures with an ELO-by-way-of-Fountains of Wayne brush." -- Jonathan Perry, Boston Phoenix, April 29, 1999

"Packed from beginning to end with beautifully catchy songs..." -- E!online

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful September 18, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I have to disagree with most of the reviews for this album. First of all, having worked as an engineer with Will personally, I can attest that he needs little, if any, pitch correction as mentioned in another review. He's a fantastic writer and musician, a cool person to talk to, energetic, and always in pursuit of more fans. I, as many, didn't hear of Owsley's solo efforts until the release of "The Hard Way," and find it in addition to his debut release to be pop masterpieces. Less Beatle-esque, and more radio friendly as far as the general public and new listeners are concerned. Most people aren't looking for Beatles reincarnates when searching for great music, and neither am I. This record, as mentioned in other reviews, is far more melodic, and somewhat reminiscent of many of your favorite songs, making it easily and quickly lovable. I am personally a huge fan of Owsley and have introduced his music to many others and continue to do so. Buy this album, accept it for it's wholesomeness, and you will be his next #1.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Commercial Pop/Rock At Its Finest December 9, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I picked up Owsley's first album simply because the cover was cool - just a guy jumping insanely high in the air with his guitar. His debut album was a superbly crafted pop gem that was undeniably catchy. This new album is the logical next step. It's not as good as the first album (also a 4-star for me), but it's more of the same: radio-friendly catchy songs that are perfect for singing along to with the car windows down. I feel that the songwriting has matured and the lyrics are better (no Zavelow House here). Owsley channels the Beatles and Bob Dylan at times, and his connection to Ben Folds shows up in quite a few songs, but overall he's simply interested in rocking out - the focus here is on melody. The catchiness of the songs doesn't mean that they all sound the same - Owsley definitely has his commercial style down, with some organs, synths, electronic drums, harmonies and distorted voice sprinkled around the edges. It's a warm, fun, rock sound. A surprise cover of "Band on the Run" is hidden in one of the songs. In the end, if you're okay with catchy music that doesn't pretend to be any deeper than it is, you'll like this album. Owsley is definitely a worthy artist to add to your list of "obscure but phenomenal" artists.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Pervasive Powerpop July 2, 2005
By Lance
Format:Audio CD
This record has repeatedly made me late--when it's on, I want to listen & absorb it all. Bad for me, but in a good way. It doesn't help that the last (official) track, Rainy Day People, is my favorite on the record, melding perfectly from the song before it. I adore Abbey Road, so maybe that's why I can't get enough of the last part of the record: The Hard Way, Dirty Bird, Rain Day People, and the hidden & accurate McCartney homage, Band on the Run.

The first half of the record is heartfelt and honest. "Matriarch" is an especially touching song of mourning. But my vote, if you're going over the music samples, is to check out the end. Especially if you like later Beatles.

( ..and, if you get the chance, see him live! This is a studio album, but every tune sounded amazing in concert. As testimony to the him and the guys he toured with, they successfully covered Steely Dan. That's no easy feat.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will moves on !!! January 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I've waited impatiently for this record for some 2 years or so and the wait is now over.Some people seem to think that Owsley has gone all out for commercial recognition with this record,I don't agree ! His first record was a lot sweeter and more overtly poppy.This record to me has a harder edge whilst retaining the sublime melodies of the first record.
Every time you listen to it your opinion will change of the best track(always a good sign)as "Matriarch","The Hard Way","She's The One" and "Be With You" could ALL be number ones in a parallel universe.They won't of course, because everybody knows you need a good dance routine to sell a record !
In summary then, a superb record, that you should own if only to stop the Nicklebacks of this world from making a living !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Alabama Beatle January 22, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
OK, I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek with the title. But not much. The comparison sprang to mind while first listening to the album, before I came here to read other reviews and write my own. (As a fan from the moment I heard the first Owsley CD playing in a record store, I felt no need to read reviews before buying this one.) I don't think the similarity arises from any attempt at emulating the Fab Four, and I don't have any idea at all whether Owsley considers them an influence on his work. But there are some songs here of a caliber to invite comparison.
I first have to confess to not understanding what some reviewers mean by saying this album seems more commercial than the first. The first, if anything, was more consciously filled with pop-sounding hooks and familiar licks...the very things that usually signify commercial ambitions. Overall, I find myself thoroughly liking both recordings.
Will Owsley has grown as a performer and writer, and has become an outstanding producer as well. Some of these songs are personal statements (i.e., "Matriarch"), while others are possessed of a broader scope and power.
"Be With You" is a solid enough introduction to the album. I relate even more to "Rise," which evokes sounds that my friends in Chimp and other British bands have been working with. The next two songs ("She's the One" and "Dude") I simply find a bit predictable. But things begin to pick up again with "Down," which features distinctive Owsleyan vocals holding their own in the midst of some remarkable changes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Power Pop
If you like XTC and Umajets, you'll like this music. Great songwriting and instrumentation. Sadly, he took his own life a few years back.
Published 10 months ago by Stephen Harper
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Way ... Easy to Enjoy
I've belatedly discovered the two wonderful albums by Owsley this past year. So tragic that he passed away at such a young age, especially considering how gifted he was as a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic music from an artist who left us too soon.....
Will spent 16 years in Amy Grant's band, which is how I came to find out about his own music. He was a fantastic guitar player, singer, writer, and producer. Read more
Published on May 2, 2010 by J. Hiller
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know how anyone could possibly complain about this album.
After reading the negative viewpoints previously written I felt compelled to throw in my two cents.

I, too, am a late-comer regarding getting all of the Owsley music. Read more
Published on November 24, 2007 by Darren D. Wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars Close... but not quite Owsley - Owsley
This guy is a player, he writes great hooks, and this album is very well done. I may have been spoiled by Owsley - Owsley. Read more
Published on January 9, 2007 by Steve Betts
4.0 out of 5 stars overcoats and a crackpot from planet antares
I'm actually hurting a little bit. See, I bumped my head into the wall. What happened was I went to see if maybe that Will Owsley guy had a new CD out, thought I could buy it on... Read more
Published on March 2, 2005 by C.K Dexterhaven
5.0 out of 5 stars Owsley makes it two in a row!!
In an age where over produced, incoherent noise is what passes for "music" these days, along comes a true artist like Wil Owsley who reminds you of what rock n' roll SHOULD be. Read more
Published on February 13, 2005 by Robb Boutros
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sophomoric effort
Just sharing my opinions. I too discovered Owsley by accident - it was on a listening station at Tower for new artists, and I just happened to punch the button for his CD, and was... Read more
Published on November 2, 2004 by B. O'Connell
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite brilliant, but not bad
If I had to make a list of my favorite CDs of all time, Owsley's first album would be up near the top. Read more
Published on March 16, 2004 by J. C. Steuber
5.0 out of 5 stars Owsley Does It Again!
Utterly fantastic! A great follow up to his debut CD which I thought would be hard to match. His new songs are fresh and yet maintain that Owsley sound that we know from his... Read more
Published on March 16, 2004 by Paul
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