It was never going to better their debut album and I first listened to it expecting it to be disappointing to be honest, but they still have their beautiful harmonies, catchy 'tunes' and their feel good 60's/Beach Boys/Thrills sound that makes it an album that you want to hear again and again. So nice to have them back after all this time and worth the wait.
Hal's first album was brilliant, great harmonies, melodies and original musical style. Then they went to sleep for 7 years. Now we have this, their next instalment!
At first listen I was a little disappointed: the harmonies have diminished and the songs aren't as snappy and catchy. However, after having listened to each song a number of times, I have begun to really like each song. Particular favourites are 'Close to Her', 'Hannah' and 'Be With You'. 'Close to her' is a perfect example of Hal's ability to come up with beautiful harmonies almost on a par with The Beach Boys. There is a noticeable development from their first album, and I think this is indicative of their musical talent.
I even noticed a hint of prog rock and sounds of Barclay James Harvest. But Hal are definitely original and have the ability to write extremely catchy, easy listening soft rock songs. Probably my favourite band of the 21st century along with The Magic Numbers.
I loved the eponymous debut from Hal, back in 2005, and thought that they would go far. Then they went away for 6 years, and i thought there would be no more. Surprise surprise, 2012 and Hal come back with a belting second album.
Anyone who likes West Coast rock, The Thrills, Beach boys, fabulous melodies and excellent lyrics should give this album a chance. Definitely as good, if not better than the first.
I'd begun to think that I'd imagined Hal's eponymous, brilliant debut - it was so long ago. At last, they've followed it up with another wonderful, sweet, melodic work of fantabulousness. It was a long time coming, but good things really do come to those who wait. If you haven't yet listened to Hal, I strongly recommend you get acquainted now. Life's too short to miss out any longer on something this good.