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Bad Habit Hear-say Frontiers Records
FRCD267
· Produced By: Jonas Reingold

· Running Time: 45.04

· Release Date: December 5

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Frontiers Bad Habit
82%
Songs: 86%
Sound: 78%
This is another album which required a fair bit of listening to in order to best appreciate.
I feel that this album is almost split into two styles with the less favorable of the two dominating the track list.
The guys of Bad Habit have toughened up their sound here and as always they deliver some high-tech European AOR, but on Hear-say that sound is peppered with a stronger guitar presence and some heavy programmed beats.
The sound makes for some interesting listening.
I think this is a good album, but in some ways old fans of the band might find the change in sound not to their liking, while fans of heavier European melodic rock might miss this release due to the preconceived idea that the band are normally softer than what they are here.
The album kicks off with one of the stronger tracks of the album. To Love You features a thumping beat and a strong chorus and a bass heavy beat, not to mention noticeably heavier guitars.
The sonic bombardment continues through I Swear, Walk Of Life and Reason.
The trouble is I'm finding the almost relentless heavy beats to be a bit of a turn off.
On the flip side, the more melodic and commercial All That I Want is a more comfortable number for traditional Bad Habit fans as is the very good ballad I Want To Know, which is another lush fan-friendly track.
I'll Be The One is another track where the beats let up and the melodic vocals and keyboards are given more of a chance to shine.
The band closes the album on a high note with the feel good uptempo anthem The Air That I Breathe. This is only the fourth track of the album that features the more AOR friendly style and I must say that these four tracks stand out as the definite highlights.
If only there album was more styled around these four tracks rather than the techno-heavy rhythm of the heavier tracks.
The Bottom Line
I like the tempo of the album and I think the vocal performance is fantastic. But I also think that the programming overpowers the album at times and becomes a liability rather than an asset. A heavier direction may be one thing, but wailing vocals and guitar solos aren't necessarily what Bad Habit fans will be expecting, or for that matter, wanting!
The four lush AOR tracks are brilliant, but what fans make of the rest will depend on personal taste. Overall a strong performance, but I think the album could have been even better with a slight change of approach.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· After Hours
· Revolution
· Adult Orientation
· 13 Years Of Bad Habits
· Hear-say

Line Up:
· Bax Fehling: Vocals
· Hal Marabel: Guitars, Keyboards
· Jaime Salazar: Drums
· Patrik Södergren: Bass
· Sven Cirnski: Lead Guitar

Essential For Fans Of:
· Bad Habit
· High-tech European AOR
Track Listing
· To Love You *
· Swear
· All That I Want *
· Walk Of Life
· Reason
· Alive
· I Want To Know *
· Take Control
· Tell Me Why
· I'll Be The One *
· I Can't Help Myself
· The Air That I Breathe
-- *Best Tracks


06/12/05: Michael - dylan7@cox.net
Rating: 85
This band has been one of my favorites since Revolution, which I consider an all-time classic. Though their last album Adult Orientation was a little light in spots, I thought it had some very strong moments. On their new one, Hear-Say, I am not sure what to think. Some songs, like "To Love You" and "I Swear" are absolute killer songs. As a matter of fact, overall most of the songs are really good. But am I the first person to think that this band sounds almost...I hate to even say this...boy-bandish now??? The beats are very cool, but I dare anyone to listen to "Tell Me Why", or most other songs on the album actually, without hearing some major Backstreet Boys or N' Sync influences. This scares me that I still actually like this album, because I HATE boy bands. Please tell me I'm just imagining things...


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