iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Hard Way by James Hunter, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Hard Way

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

Although his commercial fortunes had not yet matched theirs by the time this album was released, James Hunter had been promoting the revival of classic-era soul for a couple decades before fellow Brits Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Joss Stone came along. His command of the idiom has never been less than thorough and convincing — without knowing that the songs on The Hard Way were newly recorded, anyone might guess that this retro feast was a long-lost gem from 1966. Hunter's voice is equal parts grits and silk, somewhere between Sam Cooke smooth and Bobby "Blue" Bland scorched, and his small combo of sympathetic players could easily have found work in the studios of Hi, Stax, or Chess back when this style reigned. Compared to Hunter's last, 2006's Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk, The Hard Way, his debut for Hear Music, is a tad tougher — the horns are more prominent and sharper, Hunter's guitar has more bite to it, and the rhythms cut deeper — and quicker; at times Hunter veers closer to soul-rock than he has in the past, but he's still working well within his favorite genre. Hunter, as always, is a riveting vocalist — his singing grabs and never lets go. He handles both the lazy, bluesy tunes and the sweatier uptempo R&B with equal commitment and style, sounding as natural as can be as he tells his tales of love and the lack of it. On the slinky blues ballad "'Til the End," one of a few tunes on which he is joined by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, Hunter takes his time spilling out his doomsday scenario of a relationship gone down while the drums, bass, and horns lope along minimally. When he unfurls his brief guitar solo midway, it's economical but searing. On the rocking "Jacqueline" a doo-woppy chorus and squalling sax fill in the holes, and for the title track, a Cooke ringer, the Echo Strings add muscle and sass to the arrangement. Dancefloor denizens once ached for tunes this beat-crazy and would do well to reacquaint themselves with the real deal via James Hunter.

Customer Reviews

The Hard Way James Hunter

If you like James Hunter you will like this album. Twelve new tracks? Well not quite, 'Strange But True' and 'Believe Me Baby' were recorded as slightly different versions on the 1999 Ruf records album 'Kick It Around'. But hey ! I'm being picky. This is a great album of toe tapping tunes, my favorites being the title track and 'Carina'. There are a variety of tracks from the beautifully performed accoustic version of 'Strange But True' to the rocker 'Jacqueline'. His comic writing is to the fore on 'Class Act' and 'Tell Her' is a real slice of blue eyed soul. . Hunter deserves credit for writing his own material and not just turning out an album of sixties covers. The mix of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson in particular as Hunters influences is very clear. I am only sorry James Hunter is not more popular as critically he is highly acclaimed and very well thought of by other musicians including Van Morrison, especially when you consider the popularity and success of Amy Winehouse and Duffy who also both recreate the retro sixties sound. James Hunter sounds authentic and his music rocks. BUY IT !!

Jivin' James!

What can I say? Utterly perfect again! This album seems to have been produced with a more balanced, smoother intent than People Gonna Talk, which was more raucous especially vocally. His voice is still as characteristic as ever, but it doesn’t stamp on the music in quite the same way as it did before. Personally I like the raucous stuff, but this is equally as good, and he's sourounded by wonderful musicians as well. In short: the bloke is a legend so support him. Buy it.

You could do a whole lot worse.

A great 60's vibe! If this was done by that train wreck, bee hived, waste of space, it would be massive.

Biography

Born: Colchester, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

James Hunter is one of the best (and one of the few) British blue-eyed soul singers to emerge in the late 20th century. Hunter began his roots music career in the 1980s under the name Howlin' Wilf. His solo recordings feature rhythm & blues in the style of the 1950s, pitched between R&B, early rock & roll, and early soul. His 1994 solo debut, ...Believe What I Say, had guest appearances by Doris Troy and Van Morrison, and Hunter appeared on a couple of Morrison's mid-'90s albums, as well as performing...
Full bio
The Hard Way, James Hunter
View in iTunes
  • £7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul, Blues
  • Released: 10 June 2008

Customer Ratings

Influencers

Contemporaries