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on April 10, 2012
There is a massive shortage of quality female fronted hard rock. While operatic metal groups like Nightwish are abundant--true hard hitting rock is much harder to find. Which makes Halestorm so freakin awesome. Groundbreaking-no. Quality music-yes.

Lzzy Hale and her boys have put out a sophomore album that is much more varied than their previous efforts with tinges of southern rock, arena rock and even some pop overtones overlaid into their bread and butter hard rock. I think their branching out into different sounds really adds a level of complexity to their work. While they didn't get the mixture perfect on every song, the songs don't all sound the same and have much more personality. You won't find yourself thinking you accidentally hit the repeat button as each song is distinctly different which I really appreciate as that's a common problem within this genre. The inclusion of beautiful ballads like "Beautiful With You" or "Break In" make you appreciate that much more the hardness of other songs like "Love Bites."

The outstanding musicianship of the band is especially evident in the crafting of these songs. You'll find yourself waiting for a guitar breakdown or a quiet moment that helps convey emotion. Lzzy is simply an exceptional vocalist who can carry technical riffs, high notes and still convey heartbreaking vulnerability. This album also seems more personal than their last which showcases Lzzy's talent even more.

This album is empowering, strong, soft, sexy and an insane amount of fun. It's system blaring, top down on a warm night kind of music. Highly recommend.

**Like the others I also recommend getting the deluxe version. I personally wish the extra tracks had just been put on the album.

***************************************************
Also, beware--if the copy you are buying doesn't say "explicit" after it, then it's the edited version.
The explicit version can be found here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ONSLLQ/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk
And this is the edited version http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ONQ42O/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_img
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on May 21, 2013
Amazon recommended Halestorm's Debut album to me around 2009 and I was blown away by it. They provide a great mixture of hard rocking sounds and great ballads. Lzzy has the iconic female rock voice that has been missing for a long time and easily helps them stand out in the crowd. Her brother Arejay is a very talented drummer and will blow you away at live shows with his skillset.

I've had the pleasure of listening to "The Strange Case Of...." quite a few times now to really get a feel for the album(thanks to my long commute everyday haha!).

Love Bites (So Do I) - I like this song. It starts off like a punch in the face with it's heavy guitar driven riff. The drums add a great rhythm that you can easily find you moving your foot, head, hands, whatever to. The lead is subtle in the background, but helps to accent the vocals(which go from heavy to melodic) when needed. Overall, I think it's a great way to open the CD.

Mz. Hyde - This song has sort of a pop like feel in the beginning with a rock chorus. Another Catchy tune that can have you moving your head to the rhythm.

I Miss The Misery - Has a nice steady build up leading into the chorus. I like this song and think it has a nice mixture between vocal and instrument build up.

Freak Like Me - Punchy chorus that I'm sure will bring in a lot of crowd participation at shows. Verses are steady leading up to the chorus and the vocals are of course powerful.

Beautiful With You - This is where everything starts to slow down. This has a nice slow feel, it sounds like a mix of female influences in this song. A good ballad type song for the album.

In your Room - Keeping with the slowing down of the album comes this song. Very basic melody on this song, so you can see they wanted the words to be the showcase. Has a nice quiet chorus and a build up for a more rockin' chorus line. Overall I think this is a great song(and I'm not a huge fan of the slow stuff)

Break In - Piano accompaniment on this track leads the way for a slow, melodic vocal line. Lzzy's voice has a very mellow, angelic tone in this track. It shows a lot of range and takes the album to a different point.

Rock Show - Now we are starting to bring the tempo back up again. Still has a ballad type feel to it, but a little punch as the song goes on. Overall, it's a decent song and I find myself getting into it as it plays on.

Daughters of Darkness - This starts with sort of a "clap your hands and chant" type of feel(I could see them doing that live). When the instruments kick in the rhythm stays a steady beat and goes heavier into the chorus line. Guitars follow the beat well on this song and it's pretty catchy.

You Call Me A Bitch Like It's A Bad Thing - I like this song. It has a nice groove to it throughout the song. Vocal work is of course nice and strong from Lzzy. The lead fills on the guitar help add to the feel of the song and boost the overall fullness of the song.

American Boys - This song starts has a hard rock/classic rock song feel to it. I think this one should make it as a sing. The chorus is very kick ass and it's really easy to get into the feel of this song. This would be what I would consider and "anthem" style song.

Here's To Us - The chorus makes this song for me. I am a fan of the theme to this song and find myself singing a long to it in the car whenever this track plays. A good way to end the album in my opinion since it's not quite slow and not quite heavy, right in the middle.

Overall, I love the new album and think it has that Halestorm sound that I have grown to love. Like I said, there are not many female rockers out there these days and Lzzy does a great job of being that next generation Lita Ford, Joan Jett, ETC.
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on October 29, 2012
I've been enjoying this recording so much, I feel obligated to add my 2 cents to these reviews. Forget for a moment, their Grammy Award winning track "Love Bites" (consider it a freebie); the song "Mz Hyde" is worth the price of admission alone! If their first self-titled recording wasn't enough, The Strange Case Of ... once again proves Halestorm has all the necessary ingredients to be at the top (or certainly near the top) of the rock heap. They have the vocal prowless, the instrumental intuition and skills and their song writing ain't bad either. In fact, most of the songs are quite clever lyrically. No arguing that lead singer Lzzy Hale has the vocal power to carry off the hard rocking numbers (and even I whose ears have been subjected to decibel abuse over the years understand every line she sings in them) but listen to the ballads found here; they really showcase her voice and prove what great singer she really is. Of course her phrasing is great and she can capture every nuance with perfection. Quite frankly, she compares favorably to any of the rock's greats past or present and many other artists in the rock world are beginning to take notice. In the coming years, we will more than likely find all sorts of collaborations with other artists; she's that good! The backing instrumentation is equally professional. The drumming by Arejay Hale (Lzzy's brother) is ridiculous. Talk about a talented family! Not more could be asked of guitarist Joe Hottinger or bassist Josh Smith. They, along with Lizzy on guitar herself all meld together to form quite a formidable sonic assault. Like all great rock it sounds immediate but of course a great deal of thought and craftsmanship has gone in to each and every song, which makes me wonder how great they would sound if they extended some of these numbers in concert jam band style (`course that goes to my old school background). I'd also like to mention that the deluxe edition of this title contains 3 extra songs whose titles are "Don't Know How To Stop", "Private Parts" and "Hate It When You See Me Cry". This is the edition you will want to purchase. "Private Parts" features a duet with James Michael of Sixx:A.M. This track alone is worth any extra you pay for the deluxe edition. A couple reviewers have said they didn't like the song "In Your Room". Well I do. It is sort of an update/answer to Brian Wilson's classic "In My Room". It is a heart-felt melodic ballad which shows the softer side of Lzzy Hale (in stark contrast to "Mz Hyde"). Do yourself a favor, buy this CD immediately. If you don't have their first self-titled release, download the Expanded version available here on Amazon of that title. It too contains 3 extra tracks and "Tell Me Where It Hurts" alone is worth any extra you will pay for the Expanded version. While you're at it also buy the ReAniMate: The CoVeRs EP. You'll love their take on Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", thrilled with the homage to Heart on "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" and impressed by their Beatles vision on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" among others. If you are like me, you will find yourself playing these titles again and again. Money well spent! Keep it up Halestorm! Keep 'em coming! You've got what it takes and as evidenced by your latest release; you know how to use it!
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on September 20, 2013
The album opens with a back-to-back set of four awesome, heavy rock songs. "Love Bites" kicks the album into high gear right from the start, and it continues through "Mz.Hyde", "I Miss the Misery" and "Freak Like Me". After that, the album gets a whole lot softer with the still enjoyable "Beautiful With You", "In Your Room" and "Break In". "Rock Show" starts picking back up the pace slow and steady, leading into another full-on heavy song, "Daughters of Darkness". "You Call me a Bitch Like it's a Bad Thing" is right up there in terms of awesomeness with the opening four. "American Boys" slows the pace down a bit again, ending off with the always enjoyable "Here's to Us", followed by the epic "Guest Version" featuring the likes of Slash, Myles Kennedy, David Draiman, Brent Smith, and more in a who's who of rock music today joining in for the final set of choruses.

While the pacing flusters a bit mid way into the album, the songs are all enjoyable. I highly recommend this album, even if only for the heavy set of four at the beginning (and "You Call Me a Bitch" later on in the album) because they are so awesome.
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on February 17, 2013
The best American hard rock album I've heard in a long time. If you liked old GnR, LA Guns, and some of the other great hard rock outfits, you'll love this. The lead singer is one of the best in rock - tons of attitude and the pipes to back it up. The rest of the band is great too, memorable licks and tight songs. You'll be humming or singing along in no time. Standouts are "Daughters of Darkness" and "Freak like me".

The only downside for me - though it comes with the territory and the songs are labeled "explicit" - is the amount of explicit language in some of the songs. Some of it is just too salty for my rock-lovin' kids, so they don't get this for their MP3 players...

(Update: after I bought the explicit version, I saw that Amazon also has a "clean" version. I bought that, and indeed, all the foul language is silenced or replaced except "b**ch" in one or two songs - they even edited out "damn". So I really appreciate that Halestorm and Amazon make both available - my kids loved the couple of songs they heard so far and now I'm happy to let them listen to the whole thing.)
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on July 6, 2017
Purchased as a gift but the clear vinyl was a surprise to us all. Good quality album but there was a tear in the packaging as if someone had used a box knife during shipping and nicked the album cover and sleeve. No damage to actual vinyl so all is well.
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on December 9, 2016
I haven't heard a Halestorm CD that I didn't like and "The Strange Case of" is no exception. Halestorm is one of the hardest working and talented heavy metal band in the world.
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on December 6, 2013
The second full-length release from Halestorm builds on the already solid base they established with their powerful debut. Lizzy's voice of course is still at center stage, but they took some more chances with the song writing this time. Apparently years of touring allowed them to gain some confidence and refine their style which allowed them to move a little further from their comfort zone. The slow songs got deeper and the fast songs got heavier and the mid-temp rockers are dripping with attitude. The impact is immediate in the opening track, as the band rekindles the power they tapped in covering Skid Row's Slave to the Grind with a powerhouse of their own. Love Bites can go toe to toe with almost any rock song and clearly removes any notion that this is a "girl band" … With their debut they got their foot in the door, and here they kicked it in. Forcing the boundaries in one direction like that would be enough for most bands, but after pushing themselves to go harder, then they pulled back and delivered some even more personal and vulnerable ballads. If they had just focused on the ballads, they would have been skewered for selling out and playing into the girl band stereo type. And if they had only done the heavier stuff, their other fans would have had a fit and said they were trying too hard to prove something. In doing both they have expanded their range and insulated themselves from future expectations. The talent was apparent from the beginning, but now they are beginning to really tap into their potential. This album rocks and I can't wait to see what they do next.

Scott - RATHOLE.com
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on October 16, 2014
I grew up loving rock and role, from the classics of the 60's and 70's my parents introduced me to, to the metal and hair bands of the 80's and early 90's that I grew up with but was far too young to truly appreciate at the time (I once asked my father if Metallica was a Christian Band because Black Album's "Enter Sandman" had a prayer in it. Suffice to say he got a laugh out of that). When the 90's hit and it seemed like rock was taking it's dying breaths in exchange for Pop and Alt bands, and to me it seemed Country was poised to make a takeover (though that may have been on account of my mother switching her music tastes or those being the most common radio selections I heard then) I was saddened and terrified. Thankfully, that didn't prove to be the case, and in the internet age where there's a market for everything and Nostalgia packs a punch, it seems I won't ever have to fear that again. Halestorm's "The Strange Case of..." is a perfect example.

I tend to prefer female vocalists, though when it comes to rock there are few who's vocal talents can really belt a rock song. A more melodious voice might compliment harder and harsher instruments, kind of like how Lindsey Stirlings violin compliments the harsher music of dubstep, but you don't run into too many women who can rock it hard and soft with their voice. Lzzy Hale, and her impressive range, is an example of one who has it nailed.

The music itself sounds like it could have been straight out of the 80's, complete with Rock Anthems, Power Ballads, and songs you could see serving as the music for montages in inspiring/rebellious films. Guys complain about women wanting bad boys, well, Mz. Hyde's take no prisoners attitude inspires quite the attraction in badass women. "In Your Room" and the bonus track "Private Parts" are heartfelt songs speak of the need to open up in relationships. I had to double check and make sure "Here's to Us" was an original song and not a cover from the 80's because I swore I cold visualize it played by icons of the genre featuring leaders of the industry holding their headphones to one ear as they sang into the microphone with frontmen from other bands. Lo and behold, if you get the Deluxe version, they have the bonus track "Guest" version of this song where that is practically the case. As for the song itself, aside from it being an anthem out of time, it is song raising a glass to the good times and bad, to the high's and low's every band goes through.

Anyway, I could go on about the other tracks. Suffice to say, this is an amazing album, it might likely be in my personal top 20, though I'll have to look at it again when it's not quite the fresh purchase. definitely worth the money for the Deluxe Edition as well.
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on June 10, 2015
2nd studio album by the brother and sister Hale and company. Don't be mislead by the namesake, this is truly a group effort and every one shines on this disc. I personally like the "Halestorm" debut record better myself. By no means do I intend to take anything away from this record because it shines just as bright. It's hard to do the sophomore record and follow such an enormous debut but Halestorm has done a fine job. Songs like the Grammy winning opener "Love Bites" and "Mz.Hyde" stand tall and strong coupled with strong songs like "Freak like Me" and "Rock Show". Other tempos are found on songs like "I Miss the Misery" and "Here's to Us" while you can find the 'Stormer attitude in Lzzy's delivery on songs like "You call me a B*T#H like it's a bad thing", "Daughters of Darkness" and "American Boys". "Beautiful with You" and "In Your Room" are beautiful and romantic. Another solid effort by a band out winning fans one city at a time.
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