Fans of the legendary band Hootie & The Blowfish had to wait for fourteen years, until the quartet around Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan released their sixth studio album Imperfect Circle. The 2019 album became available to the stores on 1st November 2019.
Hootie & The Blowfish – About The Artists
Rucker and Bryan already met in the mid-1980s in Columbia, South Carolina, where they formed a combo during High School Days. The band name Hootie & The Blowfish was set in 1986, when Dean Felber and Brantley Smith, who was the initial drummer, added to the duo. After Jim Sonefeld replaced Smith on the drums, the band remained unchanged since today. The first independent EP releases were in the early 1990s. 1994, when the band was contracted with Atlantic Records, they released their first album Cracked Rear View, which topped the charts in the US, Canada and New Zealand. Though the band is doing country rock, they were also quite successful in countries like Germany, which were not too well-known for their fandom to that genre.
Though none of the following albums was as successful as the debut one, the following 1990s releases made it to very solid chart positions. The following century productions, a self-titled album in 2003 and Looking for Lucky in 2005, just made it to the Top 50 of the US charts. Over the years, the band also had quite some good placements in the singles charts, especially in Canada, where they topped the singles charts twice as well finished in the runner-up twice as well.
Hootie & The Blowfish – Imperfect Circle – Track by Track
The album lasts 42 minutes and contains 13 songs. The list of co-writers is massive and contains names like Eric Paslay or Ed Sheeran.
1. New Year’s Day
It is hard to say in words what the special Hootie & The Blowfish sound is – but the album takes you on a trip to it from its very first tunes. The legendary voice of Darius Rucker and the typical Hootie style just makes you listen and like this first track. Some of these comebacks and revivals by bands are epic fails – New Year’s Day already gives you a safe feeling that Hootie will do good.
2. Miss California
Miss California is one of the tracks with the strongest country music touch to me. Lovely track.
The years go by, my heart knows I miss California
Highway 1, halfway to Hollywood, miss California
Sunset dippin’ in the water never looked this good
I just wanna watch her all-day
When she comes in and out like a wave
She puts her moonlight lips on my face and she goes
There she goes, miss California
3. Wildfire Love (feat. Lucie Silvas)
One of the amazing facts of this song is that it has been co-written by Ed Sheeran. The track is a lovely duet between Rucker and Lucie Silvas. A very catchy and touching track.
4. Hold On
Hold On was one of the “appetizers” served before the main dish (the album). I really like the different elements of the song. The guitars are having their strong parts, the backing voices are very characteristic in here as well. Good song.
5. Turn It Up
Turn It Up starts like a light and swinging summer hit. It has a touch of Caribbean music to me. This makes it a very prominent one on the album.
6. Not Tonight
Not Tonight is also quite a swaying song which makes you feel to dance. I definitely already reached Hootie-Land! Nice!
7. We Are One
With 2:03 minutes, this track is the most compact on the album. Very simply arranged. But I like it.
8. Everybody But You
I cannot tell you what it makes it… But Everybody But You touches me, embraces me and takes on a 3:30 minute musical trip which I just don’t want to leave. So it cannot be all bad.
9. Lonely On A Saturday Night
If there was an award for the most typical Hootie song on this album, it would likely be Lonely On A Saturday Night. Though it was just pre-released few weeks before the album, it feels like a good old friend you have shared your whole life with. No matter if you call it Southern Rock, country or something else – you definitely have to call it Hootie!
After the massive Lonely On A Saturday Night, Why is mousy, like the nice girl which is alone in the corner of a large bar. In that tracklist, the song had a tough challenge to be able to touch me. Unfortunately, it did not fully make it.
While I had some trouble to get into Why, the next song Rollin’ is another very present one. A Southern Rock song which makes you feel music again. I still like some other tracks on Imperfect Circle more, I have to admit.
12. Half A Day Ahead
Listening to this track makes me pause for a moment. It has something very special and very catchy. I love the guitar arrangements. Though I feel that the verses are even a bit boring, it is one of these songs which fascinate me. Cannot tell you why. But it feels good!
Hootie & The Blowfish close the album with a ballad. Slow arrangement, strings give you a gentle farewell. Bye, bye Hootie – see you next time (or just start Imperfect Circle from the very beginning again…)
Hootie & The Blowfish – Imperfect Circle – Spotify
Here is the opportunity to (pre-)listen to the album via Spotify:
Hootie & The Blowfish – Imperfect Circle – My View
You just need these friends in life. The ones, which accompany from school to death and somehow give you this traditional touch whenever you need them. A constant. Hootie & The Blowfish are these kind of friends in musical life. You may say that Imperfect Circle sounds like the Hootie songs you heard in the earlier days. Maybe it even bores you a bit. But remember, sometimes you need these constants. Darius Rucker is developing – I am so much looking forward to see him at C2C shows in 2020. Hootie is doing Hootie – and I like it. It is just good music from a good old friend!
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