Steve Marriner: Hope Dies Last Review

Canadian multi-instrumentalist and blues rocker Stever Marriner presents us with his newest release: Hope Dies Last. With songs recorded during different periods of time, before and after COVID-19 lockdown, the album and its title may function as a portrayal of what we’ve faced. Maybe, after everything humanity has been through since last year, hope does die last. And as Marriner himself states this album is quite different from his musical approach with his band acclaimed band Monkeyjunk, as the writing and recording of the songs in the album involved  15 other musicians, rather than only the Canadian band’s trio. The album also notably leans more towards Americana and roots music. Let’s check how this turned out, by taking a closer look at the best tracks the record has to offer.

The album opener is “Take Me To The City”, a fun, swaggering hard rock number that kickstarts the album in great style. The driving drum beat, forceful riffs, and passionate vocals will surely have the listener pressing the repeat button. “How High” is another standout heavyweight rocker. The song is distinguished by effective call-and-response dynamics between vocals and guitar and a stunning set of vigorous riffs. “Somethin’ Somethin” follows with its slow pace and bluesier approach. The song includes thrilling vocal performances by Marriner and his female backing vocal’s singer as well as affecting harmonica and guitar solos.

“Coal Mine” is a country-ish and softer number, featuring an addicting sing-along chorus as well as beautiful lead guitar lines. It may be considered the most easy-listening song on the record. The album closer, “Long Way Down”, is an intimate folk rock number that conveys a powerful emotional appeal, and features an evocative vocal performance and haunting harmonica solos. A strong finish to a strong album.

Hope Dies Last is a great effort that has different musical elements but still manages to be cohesive. Actually, the album greatly benefits from this variation of approaches. Definitely one of Steve Marriner’s finest hours.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks 

– Take Me To The City
– How High
– Somethin’ Somethin’
– Coal Mine
– Long Way Down

The Big Hit 

– Take Me To The City

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

Fidel Beserra

Fidel Beserra is a professional translator and an occasional writer. As one would expect, he's also an enthusiastic lover of everything music-related.

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