Hector Ward & the Big Time
Sum of All (BMI)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., June 3, 2011
Hector Ward & the Big TimeSum of All (BMI)
While they remain adventurous, Hector Ward & the Big Time stumble on their second disc. Sum of All demonstrates what a talented ninepiece band can do, surfing between Latin rhythms, Texas blues, slippery funk, and even ska and reggae grooves. All that, with heady horn charts and the occasional psychedelic guitar blast can't save routine melodies and naive sentiments, however. While Ward possesses a big voice with lots of possibilities, he seems to occasionally lose his way, especially on the spoken word "Ghost Story" and the reggae-fied "This World." The title track, a mix of jazzy soul and Bob Marley sentiment, sounds overdone whereas a lighter touch would've made it impressive. Cari Hutson serves as delectable foil throughout, especially on the hot and sticky "So Fine." An electrifying act onstage, Hector Ward & the Big Time have yet to truly capture that high voltage in the studio.