By Shane Douthwaite
I must admit that when H.E.A.T. announced that Erik Grönwall; the winner of Swedish Idol; was to take over from ex-vocalist Kenny Leckremo, I was beyond perturbed. As a huge fan of Kenny's powerful voice, incredible tone and persona I was unsure that Erik could take his place. Then I heard the new album... boy was I wrong.
'Address the Nation' is H.E.A.T.'s third album, featuring ten tracks of infectious rhythms and catchy lyrics that will stay with you all day. Huge fluid guitar solos, thumping drumbeats, echoing keyboard riffs and gang vocals throw you straight back to the good ol' days. When each chorus kicks in you can almost feel the wind blowing your hair back, in true 80s style.
Instant classics have to be the lead single 'Living on the Run', along with 'Need Her' and'Heartbreaker' both of which will leave you hoarse from singing. The latter is quite short in length; clocking in at just 3:05; and it feels unfinished because of it. The track feels like a typical Bon Jovi-esque strutter, with a good dose of 'woah-oh-woah's thrown in for good measure. It is structured just as well as any other of the tracks, and it is my favourite on the album, but I feel that it could have done with another verse to keep the awesomeness going for longer!
As well as keeping to the AOR/Stadium Rock base from the previous albums; with huge choruses and 'foot-tapping' beats on almost every track; the Swedish rockers also adapted a more melodic-soft rock sound on tracks like 'Downtown' and 'The One And Only' which both contain a haunting choir-like backing vocal. Erik's voice is up there with the best, and he fits well with the band's sound.
Another surprise on the album is the track 'In And Out Of Trouble' it is a typical mid tempo rocker with a twist, saxophone. The sax licks throughout the song give a smooth laid back feeling and accompany the track well, and then at 2:58 the saxophone/guitar duel simply blows your mind! This track is excellent in how it draws you in, only to blast wide open at the solo.
So all in all, 'Address the Nation' is an example of great musicians making great music which surpasses every single one of my expectations. It also shows that H.E.A.T. are definitely heading in the right direction. This album should be the soundtrack to everyone's summer.
Oh, just a few messages before I go...
To H.E.A.T.: UK tour please.
To Erik Grönwall: I apologise for ever doubting you.
To all of you: Buy this fucking album!
Devil Horns Rating (out of five): \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/