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Number Seven (Deluxe Version)

Will Hoge

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Album Review

If it ain't broke, Will Hoge ain't gonna fix it. Number Seven takes most of its cues from the six albums before it, pairing grizzled country-rockers with the occasional world-weary ballad. In an effort to turn over at least one new leaf, Hoge tackles bigger issues than his love life on a handful of tracks, imagining himself as an immigrant under arrest for crossing "The Illegal Line," and a down-in-the-dumps homeless man reflecting upon his broken "American Dream." Most of the time, though, the lyrics trace his own history as a troubadour of the American bar circuit, meaning there are a lot of faithless women, beer drinking, and highway driving throughout these 11 songs. The most convincing part of the package is Hoge's voice —- a white-soul baritone with enough husk and grit to warrant the blues clichés that occasionally surface in his melodies —- and his band provides appropriate backdrops throughout, texturing the rock songs with layered Telecaster guitars and polishing the ballads with smooth pedal steel. Those who criticize heartland rockers like Bruce Springsteen for being too overzealous will have similar complaints about Number Seven, which is anthemic in the same sort of chest-thumping, roadworn way, but these songs hold their own against some of Hoge's best work.

Customer Reviews

Will Hoge Rocks!

I first heard Will last November when he was opening for Shinedown. I was blown away. It isn't often you see an opening act get a standing O, but he did. He is a true talent with a unique voice and style. This album is another great one for Will. There isn't a bad track on here. It's a must buy!

Another strong effort from Will, but...

While I suppose it should be no surprise that, living in Nashville (as Will does) will influence you, I am a tad surprised how much of it has seeped into his music, which, while the last couple records were very americana and had touches of the south and country, did not contain the more overt country influence that this record does. "No Man's Land" for example, would be right at home on CMT. Play this record through and then listen to "Blackbird on a Lonely Wire" or "Carousel", his first two records, and the progression Will has made is readily apparent. Paradoxically, I think while his artistry has grown, my favorite records will always be those first two. Nonetheless, this is a typically strong record, it just for me, has fewer songs that I enjoy. In the sing along/shout along vein that I prefer, "When I Get My Wings," "Fools Gonna Fly," and "Goddamn California" are the standouts, and "Trying To Be a Man" is a terrific meditation on his stage of life now. Will is great and you should all see him live, and buy this record. He deserves to be bigger and I hope it happens for him.

Wow - where have I been?

I'm embarrassed that I hadn't heard of Will Hoge until now. Spent this morning listening to him perform live on XM radio - and was blown away. Great music, great voice, great songwriting. Definitely a fan now!

Biography

Born: November 14, 1972 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born and raised in Tennessee, songwriter Will Hoge made his name honing a blend of soulful Americana and heartland rock & roll. After spending his childhood in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, he left Tennessee to study history at Western Kentucky University. Music drew him back home, however, and he relocated to Nashville to assemble a band that included former Georgia Satellites guitarist Dan Baird. Hoge then...
Full Bio
Number Seven (Deluxe Version), Will Hoge
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