If Pope’s pre-Nighthawks efforts garnered comparisons to the likes of Maroon 5 and other more indie pop directions, this album certainly sees him heading in a whole new direction. Here there is a more retro vibe, a blend of country, southern rock and a shedload of big and sassy blues-soul vibes. There are a few tender moments such as the reflective Leave You Behind and Lies and Cigarettes but what this new Nighthawk driven effort does so well is the full-blown, stadium sized rock and roll. There are moments of Skynard-esque slide and soloing, brilliant song crafting that Tom Petty would be happy to put his name to and even white boy soul meets east coast rhythm and blues of E Street Shuffle era Springsteen.
It is a cracking album, it’s big, it’s ballsy, it rocks like a bad boy when it wants to but there is still enough room for a little heartstring tugging and softer sentiment. But this is the modern, digital age and music alone isn’t enough any more. With this in mind Pope has created a feature length documentary following the recording and touring of the album and explores the need for the contemporary artist to make the most of digital outlets and opportunities to stay in the game.
So not only someone who musically knows how to keep moving forward , keep it all fresh and interesting but to embrace the potential of the digital age at the same time.