Jacob Hoggard, much like Chris Daughtry, has reaped the benefits of not winning an “Idol” competition in his native country. Coming third in Canadian idol has had little effect on his, or his band’s, rise to the top. Hoggard is by far the most successful Canadian idol competitor clocking up endless hit singles from the debut album and now this sophomore effort.
This is much more of an in house band effort with less of a reliance on outside songwriters. All very admirable of course if it pays dividends, but artistic integrity can come at a price and so it is with ‘Famous last Words’. The band make all the right noises and the production is as pin sharp as you’d expect from a major label release. But through all the puff and bluster the songs just don’t cut the mustard and Hedley don’t quite seem to know where they want to be; at the more alternative end of the pop punk spectrum occupied by the likes of fellow Canadians Billy Talent as in the awkward but arguably best track on the album “She’s So Sorry’ or the sugar sweet formulaic end exemplified by the extremely ordinary ‘Hand Grenade’.
Hoggard's voice is an acquired taste and his lack of versatility tends to taint the proceedings with mediocrity, making song distinction extremely difficult. Fans of the genre should find plenty to enjoy here but ultimately competent formulaic pop punk bands are ten to a penny.