Halestorm is one of the best bands to come on to the scene in the last 12 years. Fronted by the powerhouse, Lzzy Hale, the band brings it heavy and has no apologies for anything they do. The songs can be hard, almost thrash and the next minute they can be soft and beautiful and then everything in between. The songs are melodic at times and Lzzy can deliver the goods vocally. Joe Hottinger on guitar is sensational and it is nice to see that the guitar still matters in rock music as his sound is what I really love about the band. Then rounding out the rhythm section is Josh Smith on bass and Arejay Hale on drums and both are the driving force behind the band.
The heavier the band gets, the better for me and my ranking might reflect that so sorry but that is what I love about them. I know they only have 4 studio albums so far, but they need to be heard and ranked. To compensate for that shortfall on studio albums, I will rank their 3 Covers EP that they have done in their ‘Reanimate Series’ of albums. That way you hopefully feel like you are getting your money’s worth stopping by here…wait…you aren’t paying to come so I guess no matter I do, you get your money’s worth. Good to know.
So without further ramblings on and on about nothing, let’s get to the rankings.
For My Sunday Song #236, we are going to dig deep in to the song “Private Parts” by Halestorm. The song features Sixx A.M. lead singer James Michael and is off the band’s 2012 album ‘The Strange Case of…’. The album wasn’t a single, hell, it wasn’t even on the main album. The song was only on the Deluxe Edition of the album. Since I am a fan of James, this song really stood out for me and quickly became a fan.
The song is not a sexual song at all as you might expect with a song called “Private Parts”. No, the song is about something so much deeper. It is about a couple that has been together, but she is having trouble getting him to open up. She wants him to let her. Communicate. Be there in the moment. She wants him to show her his private parts…she wants what is inside his heart. She feels like she has done something wrong and is starting to feel like their love isn’t real. He loves her, but for some reason he can’t talk about it. It is actually quite beautifully written and played out in the song as you get the She said/He said approach to the lyrics.
The song opens and has a power ballad feel to it. It only has a piano playing at a slow tempo accompanying the vocals. Then the chorus explodes with a more rocking track. I love how Lzzy sings a line and James answers back as you get to see the conversation played out in the song. His voice compliments hers quite nicely. The song has a great melody and is so catchy it sweeps you up and takes you along for the ride. I find it to be such a beautiful song and nice to see the softer side of the band.
For My Sunday Song #231, we kick off this 10 Set of Halestorm songs with “Mz. Hyde” off the band’s second album ‘The Strange Case of…” The song was the 5th single of this incredible album and went to #15 on the Rock Mainstream Chart. It helped push the album to #15 on the Billboard 200 album chart and brought the album to Gold status of over 500,000 copies sold. If you haven’t heard the album, prepare to have your head explode at its awesomeness!
The song was written by Lzzy Hale and songwriter Scott Stevens who you might know as the lead singer of The Exies. Lzzy wanted to capture in a song the fact she has two totally different personalities. One is her personal life and the other is her stage life. They took the theme from the fantastic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Lzzy was very shy when she was younger and yet she wanted to be a rock star. She created this “Mz. Hyde” personae to turn in to the rock star she wanted to be. I know a lot of people that their work personae and personal life personae are totally different so I believe a lot of people have this dichotomy in their lives.
Musically, hold on to everything as this song explodes out of the gate with an awesome drum opening from Arejay Hale that then rips into an electronica “Mz. Hyde” before Lzzy comes in like a monster with the verses and the chorus. It is an extremely uptempo rocker that has all the elements you want in a rock song. Powerful drums fro Arejay, rip roaring guitars from Joel Hottinger, thumping bass from Josh Smith and a powerhouse vocal performance from Lzzy. If this song doesn’t get you moving, I don’t know what will.
For My Sunday Song #96, I am discussing the beautiful song by Halestorm called “Beautiful with You”. The song is off the gold selling album ‘The Strange Case of…’ which went to # 1 on the Hard Rock Charts. However, despite the album having 5 singles, this was not one. I chose this one since we are currently discussing power ballads and I thought I would bring the power ballad into the 21st Century and highlight a newer song that I felt fit the mold.
The song definitely has the power with Lzzy Hale’s vocals and it is a slower tempo and softer song you would expect with a ballad that ebbs and flows between harder and soft. The song has a great tone to it and is a very emotional song. The song is about loving your self and realizing it is okay to reach out to others for help. It doesn’t make you weak, but strong. Here is what Lzzy told journalist Valerie Bastien (from Songfacts.com) about her low self-esteem…
“Believe me, I don’t always feel like a rock star, and there are times when I look in the mirror and scream. Especially emotionally,” admitted Lzzy. “I used to hide a lot of my feelings of insecurity and powerlessness, and just wouldn’t reach out to someone because I thought it meant that I was weak if I did. I wanted people to see that it’s ok to need a shoulder sometimes, and to have those “ugly days” and to let down your guard. We’re human and we’re not perfect… don’t let those thoughts in your head rule your life and prevent you from opening yourself up.”
I really love the verse that states the following: