Sammy Hagar | Crazy Times Review
Sammy Hagar is releasing a new studio album called Crazy Times. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame®-inducted, Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, performer, entrepreneur, and New York Times #1 best-selling author is joined by his Billboard chart-topping supergroup, The Circle. The Circle is fellow Hall of Famer and longtime bassist Michael Anthony, Grammy-winning drummer Jason Bonham and Grammy-winning guitarist Vic Johnson. To record the album, the band traveled to Nashville to work with 8-time Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A.
“Slow Drain” is a moody rock tune with The Circle creating a space for Hagar’s gritty vocals to live in and belt out the melody. Hagar’s voice sounds strong, and his energy is overflowing. In general, the band has a joyous overtone to their performance. Hagar explains, “Going back in the studio, creating and being with the music is just what felt natural. And it was just so different from any record I’ve ever made. There was joy in the hard work, catharsis, and comradery we’d craved. It was like those two years of not being able to do very much fell away, and we really all came together and let it out in the music and lyrics. We were able to express what we all felt.”
“Pump It Up” is an upbeat driving selection with Johnson’s guitar work pushing the energy with powerful support from Anthony and Bonham. The melody is familiar and adds to the overall party nature of the song’s vibe. Hagar talks about the goal going into the album, “Before I stepped into the studio with Dave, he’d told me he wanted the best of my career on this record, and he wasn’t going to let me get out of that studio until I gave it to him. So, I said, ‘If you expect that from me, at my age, as many records as I’ve made, you’re going to have to push me,’ and he said no problem. Obviously, I dug down and just tried to write good strong songs, great lyrics, and great melodies and not worry so much about the arrangements because he had that covered. And he pushed and squeezed every one of us. We went in the studio with seven songs and came out with 10. We ended up cowriting three songs with Dave Cobb and the band—including the new track, Crazy Times.”
Crazy Times is a robust collection of songs for Hagar. His singing has not sounded this good since the 90s. The band is exceptional, and everything is recorded, mixed, and mastered to perfection. Is this the best Hagar album to date? Almost certainly not, but this is a remarkable album for a rocker with a catalog as vast as Hagar.
September 30, 2022