Album Review

HARDY - Quit!!

HARDY has spread his wings far beyond the world of country music.

HARDY ‘QUIT!!’ album artwork
July 11, 2024 1:16 pm GMT

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HARDY - Quit!!

Label: Big Loud Rock

Producers: Joey Moi & HARDY

Release Date: July 12, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. QUIT!!

2. ROCKSTAR

3. GOOD GIRL PHASE (feat. Chad Smith)

4. I DON'T MISS

5. PSYCHO

6. HAPPY HOUR (feat. Knox)

7. JIM BOB

8. WHYBMWL

9. TIME TO BE DEAD

10. SOUL4SALE (feat. Fred Durst)

11. LIVE FOREVER

12. ORPHAN

13. SIX FEET UNDER (Caleigh's Song)

When HARDY first unveiled his new musical era, it started out on rocky ground.

Arriving with mixed reviews at best, 'Quit!!', the album's lead single and title track, was a cocktail of nu-metal spoken word within an intense sonic landscape, the decorated lyricist chronicling his decade-long expedition from hopeful songwriter to country superstar that's been peppered with people who told him to give up along the way.

Now, the small town Mississippi boy has found his way to the forefront of country music, all while paving a new musical lane that artists like Bailey Zimmerman and Dylan Marlowe have followed him down. Seamlessly blurring the lines between country's signature storytelling and the distinctive sound of rock and its many subgenres, HARDY's newest record picks up where his dichotomous the mockingbird & THE CROW left off. This time, though, he's spread his wings far beyond the world of country music.

Laden with heavy, swampy electric guitar riffs and in-your-face bursts of HARDY's guttural growl, Quit!! is a 13-song rollercoaster. While you could easily get swept up in the high-octane energy of it all, it's an album that, at its core, is deeply drenched in reflection, as the award-winning artist looks back on his journey thus far.

A step beyond the album's title track, the tongue-in-cheek 'ROCKSTAR' reminisces on HARDY's path to fame over the last few years, noting all the wins he's enjoyed as one of the genre's most in-demand songwriter, something he also happily underpins on the southern-singed 'I DON'T MISS'.

However, nothing takes the cake quite like the vividly painted 'ORPHAN,' which finds HARDY's masterful penmanship at its very best. Much like the title track of his 2023 album was a perfectly split, autobiographical look at what makes HARDY tick as an artist – caught between two different musical worlds that have his heart in equal measure – 'ORPHAN' builds on this idea even further.

"Sitting on some songs nobody sung yet / Guitars so damn loud it's drowning out all the chords that 16th Avenue was built on / Lord, please forgive me / I'm just trying to find my home / All alone, just me and this middle finger sound / The orphan of this country music town". He's yelling into the void, explaining that while he's played the game and earned his stripes, there's a part of him and his craft that will always be seen as an outsider in Nashville and country music at large.

Coupled with a pair of songs for his wife, Caleigh – the heartfelt and introspective 'SIX FEET UNDER (Caleigh's Song)' and the perfectly lovely 'WHYBMWL,' which depicts the first time they met and fell in love –  HARDY also offers musings on weightier topics across the baker's dozen.

He demonstrates the dumpster fire of a world we live in on the deceivingly upbeat 'TIME TO BE DEAD,' addiction and alcoholism on the raucous 'JIM BOB' and the ominous 'LIVE FOREVER,' which adds another observation on domestic violence into HARDY's discography as he all but threatens that "if the good die young, then you're gonna live forever."

By doing his due diligence and enlisting a few members of rock royalty, including Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, HARDY has created an inherently metal album. With gnashing guitars, a fully-loaded drum kit and a fair bit of wailing throughout, it certainly checks all those boxes. Yet, at the same time, Quit!! is a deeply heartfelt project that hinges on its traditional country songwriting tropes and wordplay.

The reality is that there will be a lot of people who hate this project, both from the country and rock worlds, but for a large swath of listeners, particularly those within HARDY's loyal fanbase who see Quit!! as a natural progression for the born genre-bender, it's the best of both worlds.

8/10

HARDY's 2024 project, Quit!!, is released Friday, July 12 via Big Loud Rock.

For more on HARDY, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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