Gotthard - Need To Believe

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Riding high on a wave of international popularity and long-overdue recognition Switzerland's biggest selling rock band release a second new album in three years after 2007's Domino Effect, accompanied by a headlining tour. Unfortunately the oft-repeated concern that as soon as bands start making albums quickly to satisfy increased demand the quality of the music suffers has held true with Need To Believe. Admittedly the band's intention was to offer an upbeat album to match the title, but it has been at the sacrifice of the hard rock attitude that got them this far. Yes they can write a good melody, and yes they can write hooky choruses (sometimes too hooky), but too many things here are retreads of existing things either by them or by someone else. Shangri-La borrows a lot from Led Zeppelin in its bridge, but is otherwise classic Gotthard radio-fodder, i.e. not their best work. I Don't Mind's main riff is an almost note-for-note copy of Wheels of Steel by Saxon, two back-to-back ballads-by-numbers (title track and Unconditional Faith) as early as tracks three and four kill off any chance at building up momentum at the start of the album, and they deliver their final anti-climax with mood-killing ballad Tears To Cry at the end of the disc. I Know, You Know, Rebel Soul and Right From Wrong are the only tracks which even come close to anything from Lipservice or Domino Effect or show any new ideas. This is Gotthard's most unimaginative album to date.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2009, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quick.Play Reviews,

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