Don't Kill The Magic
Isolate and Medicate
Returning for their fifth studio album, and second on Sixthman Records, Sister Hazel find themselves with the difficult task of following up arguably their best record in their catalog. “Chasing Daylight” not only rejuvenated the career of this band, but helped launch their then upstart record label. Now they return with “Lift” a collection of songs that may not measure up to its predecessor, but still carries its self quite well on the strength of Sister Hazel’s impressive lyrics. Evidence of this can be heard in the opening tracks “Surrender” and “Lay It Down” both showcasing Sister Hazel’s ability to write up-beat, hook filled songs. Also impressive is “World Inside My Head” showing a slowed down, laid back sound that compliments the lyrics of this song perfectly. At times the band tries to expand their boundaries, like on the track “I Will Come Through” which finds Ken Block stretching his vocals to their highest octave, backed by an almost funk inspired sound. While its nice to hear the band step outside their typical lines, this song just doesn’t play to the band’s strengths, and comes off a bit strange. Perhaps the track that should come under the most scrutiny is the cover of the Car’s classic “Just What I Needed”. Not only was it shocking that Sister Hazel included a cover song on their CD, but they elected it to be their first single. Furthermore, the song really remains unchanged from the Car’s version, which begs the question, why cover the song in the first place? At any rate, Lift’s low points should not overshadow an album filled with well written songs that overall make this another strong addition to the Sister Hazel catalog.