Album Review — Sammy Hagar & The Circle
Sammy Hagar & The Circle — Crazy Times
Sammy Hagar & The Circle are back with their second full length studio album titled “Crazy Times”. It’s the follow up to 2019’s “Space Between”. The star-studded band includes Michael Anthony (bass), Vic Johnson (guitar) and Jason Bonham (drums) joining Hagar.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the first record and honestly I haven’t been a big fan of anything Hagar has released in the last decade or so. He still has the vocal chops and sounds great live but the songs just haven’t been there. Let’s see how the new album sounds.
Intro: Beginning of the End — The opening track is a mostly acoustic track that’s under two minutes. The last track on the regular version of the record looks like it might be the second part to the intro. An interesting start.
Slow Drain — Now this one I like. I wouldn’t call it a heavy track but it’s got a good groove and Hagar belts out the lyrics. Lots of passion in Hagar’s vocals. More of this please.
Feed Your Head — Another track with a big groove and lots of Michael Anthony on backing vocals. I’m not as big of a fan of this one but a decent track.
Pump It Up — A patented Sammy scream greets us on this one. The verse features a quickfire delivery of the lyrics but not a lot in the chorus. It’s an upbeat and fun song.
Be Still — A mostly acoustic ballad that has the feel of recent Hagar tracks. Hagar has fallen into the habit of trying to fit in what he’s trying to say even if it doesn’t flow that well. We get more of that here. It’s a decent track but could be a bit smoother.
You Get What You Pay For — Now this is more of what I’m looking for. This one sounds like a Hagar track. Very melodic and upbeat, almost sounds like a modern-day Who track with Bonham doing his best Keith Moon. One of the better tracks so far.
Crazy Times — The title track was the first single and it’s a good selection. It sounds like a Sammy Hagar track which is a good thing in my book.
Funky Feng Shui — This track originally was on the Lockdown Sessions record. It’s mostly the same but there are some small changes that improve the track a bit. It’s ok but probably not worth re-recording and the bonus track would have been a better choice for the regular version of the record and this moved to the bonus track.
Father Time — The second mostly acoustic track that works much better than the first one. Hagar hits 75 this year and this sounds like his autobiography in a four minute song. Even though Hagar is telling his story is flows much better than “Be Still”.
Childhoods End — The last track on the regular version of the record bring the album full circle, so to speak, as it completes the intro track. It’s not a typical Hagar sounding track which I like.
2120 — This track should have made the regular version of the album and should have replaced “Funky Feng Shui”. I’d say you should make sure to get the version of the album that includes this track as it’s one of my favorites on the record.
Father Time (acoustic demo) — It’s cool to hear the demo version of this track. I would have rather heard a new track but this is a nice addition.
Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised. I was worried when I saw the same producer that Zac Brown Band uses was producing this record. I had nightmares of another “Livin’ It Up!” record. But overall there are some good tracks here and Sammy delivers some really good performances.
I do wish this album rocked a little more but I think it’s an improvement on “Space Between” and most of what we’ve heard from Hagar over the last decade.
I wouldn’t put this record up there with his best work, but it’s definitely worth checking out for all you Redheads.
85 out of 100
01. Intro: The Beginning Of The End
02. Slow Drain*
03. Feed Your Head
04. Pump It Up
05. Be Still
06. You Get What You Pay For*
07. Crazy Times*
08. Funky Feng Shui
09. Father Time*
10. Childhoods End
2120* & Father Time (acoustic)