August 29, 2022

Sister Hazel - Fortress (2000) ☠

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: 012 157 883-2
☠: Selected by Lass
© 2000 Universal Records
Sister Hazel was fortunate that their debut album arrived precisely at the right time, just when radio was cooling to Hootie & the Blowfish but still needed journeymen bar bands that turned out sturdy mainstream rock & roll, the kind of music that was the '90s version of heartland rock. They scored a major hit and toured the hell out of the record, building a respectable success. Still, when their second album, Fortress, appeared in the summer of 2000, they still had something to prove. Like a lot of their peers -- such post-ironic, post-Hootie artists as Matchbox Twenty, Tonic, Cowboy Mouth, and Edwin McCain -- they had to prove that they could deliver another solid record that would retain their audience. The dilemma of the working band, as it were. This is a dilemma that was particularly difficult in the late '90s/early 2000s since working bands were considerably less than hip and didn't have album rock as an outlet the way working bands did in the '70s. Sister Hazel realizes this and they even give a shout-out to their working-band comrades in their special thanks. It's likely that they connect so strongly with the working band because they are the definition of one for their era. They are a solid band, turning out sturdy albums that may have a couple of stumbles, yet it's always satisfyingly straightforward. With Fortress, Sister Hazel does take a couple of tentative steps to distinguish themselves from the pack -- a neo-psychedelic arrangement there, Beatlesque horns here, ambitious song structures every few tracks -- but they remain a working band at their core. That means that they're hardly cool in 2000, but they do deliver a follow-up that delivers on the sound of their hit, even if it never quite successfully expands that signature sound. And that's a trademark of a working band, too.

tags: sister hazel, fortress, 2000, flac,


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