Let’s discuss Jeremie Albino’s “Hard Time.” It’s the first record for this singer-songwriter, and it skews to harder blues than folk, and tends toward telling tougher tales–as you might guess from the album title.

Apparently, he’s been playing this songs on the road for quite a while, which explains why the arrangements are so tight. A song like “Trouble,” which features a truly blazing guitar solo at the end, feels like something that may be 4 minutes on the record but could probably be a ten-minute closer at a club. It’s a get-off-your-seat-and-stomp-your-feet kinda tune–one that raises the heart rate and the roof at the same time. And then there’s the power ballad Amelia, the obvious “big hit” on the album. It’s perfect.

In fact, the whole album is. It moves seamlessly from aggressive rock to simple and kind folk like “The Cabin,” my personal favorite song on the album. It’s a proper record, with hits and deep cuts, power and range, and a tremendously promising debut.

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