14 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The highway theme running through Sister Hazel’s eighth studio album suits these veteran road warriors. After 17 years together, they know the ups and downs of being a full-time touring unit, and their intimacy with the subject makes for a strong set of songs. Establishing this lyrical narrative to focus on gives them plenty of room to do what they do best, which is to craft catchy, hook-filled roots-rock with a subtle Southern twang. All five members wrote songs for the album, which includes a mix of rockers (“Great Escape,” “She’s Got a Hold On Me”), touching mid-tempo numbers (“Far Away,” “At Your Worst”), and gentle ballads (“The Saddest Song”) that touch on a range of emotions. Perhaps the most interesting and ambitious songs on Heartland Highway are the closing-song trilogy “Lessons In Love, Hope, and Faith,” parts 1-3, in which they look honestly and openly at what it means to be separated from family while out doing what you love. Their ability to grow and mature without falling prey to predictability is admirable. Loyal Hazelnuts should enjoy the ride along the Heartland Highway.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The highway theme running through Sister Hazel’s eighth studio album suits these veteran road warriors. After 17 years together, they know the ups and downs of being a full-time touring unit, and their intimacy with the subject makes for a strong set of songs. Establishing this lyrical narrative to focus on gives them plenty of room to do what they do best, which is to craft catchy, hook-filled roots-rock with a subtle Southern twang. All five members wrote songs for the album, which includes a mix of rockers (“Great Escape,” “She’s Got a Hold On Me”), touching mid-tempo numbers (“Far Away,” “At Your Worst”), and gentle ballads (“The Saddest Song”) that touch on a range of emotions. Perhaps the most interesting and ambitious songs on Heartland Highway are the closing-song trilogy “Lessons In Love, Hope, and Faith,” parts 1-3, in which they look honestly and openly at what it means to be separated from family while out doing what you love. Their ability to grow and mature without falling prey to predictability is admirable. Loyal Hazelnuts should enjoy the ride along the Heartland Highway.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
88 Ratings

88 Ratings

reachthebeach2 ,

A truly great Sister Hazel Album

Another great song cycle from an amazing band. They remain consistently great even after two decades on the road and in the studio. Their sound is comforting; like an old friend who comes back to visit with new stories from the road every year. This is easily the most democratic band in music. Though Ken Block is the lead singer and de facto spokesperson for the band, each member is crucial to its success. Ryan Newell's crisp leads and slide guitar give this mellow sound its distinctive edge. Drew Copeland's voice, harmonies and keyboards give them remarkable depth. Jett Beres provides a smooth, agile baseline and Mark Trojanowski quietly provides the strong backbeat that supports this sound. I've been a fan of this band for years - they have been the soundtrack of my adult life and they never disappoint. Another consistently wonderful collection of songs to keep you company on your journey, wherever it may lead you.

Captain_Typho ,

Mediocrity on the level of Lift....

5 stars for the band, 2 stars for the album. Wow, after what I felt was their second strongest album with "Release", we get a follow up album with a collection of songs that sound rushed and forced to production. Come on guys, I know you are better than this! This has to be the worst album since "Lift". That said, there are a few good numbers on here like Drew Copeland's "Where You're Going", and the first two to three songs on the album are decent. Also, the Lessons in Love trilogy is ok. The thing about it is none of these songs sound like a hit song you'd enjoy listening to at a concert the way EVERY song on Release, Somewhere More Familiar, and Fortress were.

DawgPoundx19 ,

Decent, but they

I am a huge Sister Hazel fan, lived in Gainesville during their peak years (from a commercial radio stand point). I've seen them live at least 6 times and they're always great live, and great with the fans. That being said this album was more of a purchase to complete my collection buy, nothing really jumped out at me. Somewhere More Familiar and Fortress were their biggest comercial successes, and great albums. Chasing Daylight is actually one of my all time favs after feeling luke warm the first time I listened to it. Release and their self titled albums are solid as well. Lift and BAM! weren't quite up to their usual standards and this one is in a similar boat. It's good, it's Sister Hazel, it's just not great when compared to their previuos releases that I know and love. If you want the best bang for your buck, buy the double disc live album that they have.

More By Sister Hazel

You May Also Like