Godsmack founder Sully Erna breaks away from the metallic sound of his day job and returns with a more low key second solo album. Recorded in his New Hampshire studio Erna's intention when recording the album was to make music not for the fans or the record label, but for himself. The result is an expressive and very human album. Composed on piano and guitar the album has an introspective feel; it's personal, almost confessional in the way that Erna opens up creatively.
The stripped down instrumentation on the first part of the album leaves space for the music to breath and for the sensitivity of the lyrics come to the fore. There's still overtones of his previous experimentation to be heard on Your Own Drum's where the upbeat and positive message is enhanced by the rhythmic Spanish feel of the song. Different Kind Of Tears plays with more radio friendly country pop and really suits Erna's husky vocals.
The second part of the album warms up more, moving away from the bleaker piano based songs and starts to layer the music more. Take On Me adds strings alongside a dark, human sound. The sensitive and classical styled ballad Forever My Infinity enhances things further with soaring harmonies. Father of Time retains the melancholia of the early part of the album but also draws on world music. Turn It Up offers infectious slap bass lines that give the song a lazy feel and playing with R & B rhythms. Blue Skies is racked with self doubt and is redolent of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters. The track's rising melodies offer a glimmer of hope against the backdrop of the darker piano that lingers throughout the album.
Hometown Life may not sound like it's a celebration of home, but it allows Erna to make the music he wants and in doing so he's able to fulfil his own creative expressions.
Groupie Rating 4/5