Hootie and the Blowfish will release Looking for Lucky, their first studio album in two years on Aug 9. The album finds a balance between giving us more of what was so popular with Cracked Rear View and demonstrating how much the band has grown, both as composers as well as performers.
The group collaborated with several other songwriters on many of the tracks in an attempt to push things in a new direction. They also called in Don Gehman to produce the release for the band’s own label, Sneaky Long Records. The result is a varied mix of warm music that in the end is pure Hootie.
I find Looking for Lucky to be very reminiscent of the band’s breakthrough album, Cracked Rear View. Maybe it’s the distinctly unique voice of lead singer Darius Rucker but I suspect it is the powerful and timely lyrics that keep the album true to form.
A good example of this is the first single, “One Love.” Lyrically, the song is powerful and on the button with current times true to Hootie style.
Old religions, new generations
Caught in a struggle about a righteous way
Can’t see the forest for the frustrations
So many lyin’, so many dyin’
But only one love
The song shows the growth of the group musically. Unmistakably soft pop, the song also has hints of gospel and in some ways sounds like a wishful prayer. “Another Year’s Gone By” is another track that is in the same vein. It was emotionally inspired by 9/11. Both songs touched the soft side of me making them quick favorites.
Country influences are strongly heard on the songs “The Killing Stone” and “Autumn Jones,” not only in the style of the music but in the choice of instrumentation. Yes, that’s slide guitar on “The Killing Stone” and steel guitar on “Autumn Jones.”