Much of the pre-release talk around Glenn Hughes' first solo album for eight years, Resonate, has been about how heavy it will be. The first two singles, Heavy and Let It Shine, certainly bore that out, and although Resonate is a very "Glenn" title, it did seem that the album probably should have been named after its lead track. The full album also starts out by underlining the heavy approach of its singles, pairing them with two more stompers, including Flow, which is easily the heaviest song Glenn has ever recorded. They're the perfect reaction to Glenn's desire over the last few years to rock hard, tempered by the irresistible funk groove and rumbling bass lines his solo material is characterised by, and they give returning guitarist Søren Andersen the opportunity to add some dirty solos as well. After the opening four-track barrage though, the heaviness dies away somewhat, first in patches, then completely. Steady is much more typical of Hughes' solo work. Its intro build up, driven primarily by excellent rolling drum fills from Pontus Engborg, feels like it's going to burst into another punishing riff like the previous four tracks did, but instead it gives way to a much brighter tone (Glenn's bass still thunders away in the background though), which feels a little flat compared to what's gone before. The rock side ramps back up again on God of Money and How Long, then there's one of his trademark bluesy ballads, When I Fall, which are always welcome. It's the tail end of the album which lets the side down a bit. Landmines, Stumble & Go (which screams California Breed), and Long Time Gone, are all middle of the road rockers which really lack the urgency the rest of the album has benefited from (Long Time Gone's funk bridge is excellent though), almost like the album itself, rather than the band, has run out of steam over the preceding 40 minutes and couldn't keep its energy levels up for the 12-minute home stretch. The contrast probably wouldn't be so stark if they were distributed a bit more evenly throughout the tracklist, amongst the properly heavy songs, and they aren't bad songs either, they just let the album peter out more limply than it started. Nevertheless, Resonate has far more stand-out tracks than any of the albums Glenn has released with other outfits over the last few years, and really signals his return to hard rock more clearly than any of those did.Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews, Glenn Hughes
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