Once Upon a Time in the West

Studio Album by released in 2007
Once Upon a Time in the West's tracklist:
Suburban Knights
I Shall Overcome
Watch Me Fall Apart
I Close My Eyes
Help Me Please
Can't Get Along (Without You)
We Need Love
Little Angel
The King

Once Upon a Time in the West review

Hard-Fi's personal achievements

While the idea of comparing Hard-Fi with Arctic Monkeys doesn't look really appropriate it must be said that they still have much in common. Both of the bands are from small British towns and both of them are playing in approximately the same style. Both experienced unbelievably prompt rise of fame and each of them have established personal records of popularity. Perhaps, Arctic Monkeys surpassed Hard-Fi in number of sold albums but the latter's outcome of one million copies is also far from being commonplace, especially for the album recorded in an old taxi cabin. The fact that the band played five consecutive nights in London's Brixton Academy may be considered as the band's personal achievement. The other artists who can boast with the same were The Clash, Bob Dylan, Massive Attack and The Prodigy. And the band's first full-length tour of 2006 sold out in just 15 minutes! In a word, facts speak for themselves – Hard-Fi are phenomenon of a modern rock scene. And today they are coming back with their new album Once Upon A Time In The West to prove again.

Melancholy and slight sadness

The band's leader Richard Archer describes new album as darker and more expansive. His words correspond to the facts quite adequately – it is pretty hard to find something one could fearlessly call sunny and joyful on 11 tracks of Once Upon A Time In The West. It's not like the album's atmosphere is completely enshrouded in darkness, no, melodic patterns, rhythmics of the songs, everything fits in with the standards of rock music, you can even dance to them a little if you want to, but you can always feel some kind of melancholy and slight sadness here. It all becomes audible from the very first minutes of the record. The first single Suburban Knights is a pretty lively and active song – great intro, first class backing vocals, persistently pulsing bass, everything sounds simply perfect and for all that you can feel that the overall atmosphere hides a small particle of despair somewhere under its anthem-like layers. But there is no negative or depressive feel here, the mood rather caries a romantically dramatic coloring like for example on Watch Me Fall Apart where musicians used lots of strings or on I Shall Overcome – beautiful, tuneful but at the same time powerful song.

The musicians approached recording process with all responsibility

The album includes several magnificent ballads; these are Help Me Please and The King. The songs sound very emotional and go straight to your soul. Actually, track called Tonight could be also referred to them, emotionally it sounds akin, but by the end of the composition it gradually resolves into the full-fledged rock anthem. As concerns production, it became much more expansive indeed. They frequently use strings and keyboards in the arrangements thus effectively ennobling dirty guitar overload. Besides, vocals are constantly covered with reverberation effect and it always gives a little bit mystique tints to the music. All these traits were typical for Hard-Fi's previous album too but in the present case the musicians approached recording process with all responsibility, the quality is noticeably better, although the core of their sounding remains the same. Actually, one could expect these changes; they had their time to gain a necessary experience. Once Upon A Time In The West sounds like a natural continuation to their first record – that is more mature and competent. So it looks like Hard-Fi will finally win the Mercury Music Prize, which slipped off their hands in 2005.

Rate review4.52
Total votes - 17

Listen to MP3 Music in the app because you deserve the best
or go to the mobile site