AN NRTEAM FEATURE
Which 'Hard Love' is the Best?
Our staff (and Twitter!) weighs in on which of the FOUR(!) versions of the NEEDTOBREATHE song reigns supreme.
 


AN NRTEAM FEATURE, Which 'Hard Love' is the Best?
Posted: August 16, 2017 | By: NRTeamAdmin
NRT Editorial RSS Feed

One of the most resonant songs from NEEDTOBREATHE's album, HARD LOVE, has been the title track. The song, which is all about enduring suffering in the midst of loving others who may not love you back, transcends the band's own personal experiences, as many folks can relate to a time when they've been hurt in the name of love--and thus, they're encouraged to "get back up" and keep their love on. 

Since the release of the album version of "HARD LOVE," the band has unveiled not one, not two, but THREE aadditional versions of the song, each with a different female vocalist taking the second verse and adding harmonies. 

These versions found their way to the recently released Hard Cuts EP, and so it was worth asking: Which version is the best? You all weighed in via Twitter, and some of our staff members rallied behind their favorites, defending their pick as "the best." 

Here's how Twitter voted:


Now check out NRT's picks: 

Lead Contributor Kevin Davis: The Andra Day version
The version of "HARD LOVE" by NEEDTOBREATHE featuring R&B/soul singer Andra Day is compelling music. The song personifies the band's challenge of standing up for what's right in a dark world. Bear Rinehart and Andra Day's powerful vocals lift this song to its highest point in the bridge: "When the wolves come and hunt me down, I will face them all and stand my ground, 'cause there's a fire burnin' in me, they will see my strength in this love I found." This version is the only one that resulted in a music video, and there's a reason for that: Andra's vocals help bring out the deep soulful expression of the ups and downs of relationships. (Learn more about my thoughts and the band's in this Behind the Song Devotional on "HARD LOVE.")
 

Executive Editor Marcus Hathcock: The Serena Ryder version
Look, I love the original as much as the next person, but this is the only stripped-down version of the song. With some exciting, dark chord switches in this version, a prominent bass line, and plenty of soulful/gospel-inspired background vocals (and lead vocals) make this almost a completely different song. It's fun to hear the pop-type stylings of the other versions, but this one has a rawness that is more in line with NEEDTOBREATHE's full career. It moves along, with not a lot of pauses between sections, keeping energy high, and yet the power really comes not from the tempo or the instrumentation, but rather the church choir-style power of the background vocalists, which propel the vocal performances of Rinehart and the Adele-like Serena Ryder to new dramatic levels. This one will easily get overlooked, yet it deserves to stand on its own as a worthy interpretation of an already strong track.
 

Contributor Phill Feltham: The Lauren Daigle version
It's easy to hear from even one listen to this song that "HARD LOVE" is a very demanding song, vocally speaking. And who but multi-award winning, chart topping, reigning queen of CCM Lauren Daigle could keep up with the substantial vocal chops of Bear Rinehart? Lauren's voice gives "HARD LOVE" an Adele-like sound, which adds  extra atmosphere to the song. Consequently, this is why the other versions fall flat musically. Her voice just is too iconic and magnetic to compete with. 
 

Associate Editor Mary Nikkel: The Original Version
Although all the versions of "HARD LOVE" have merit, the original still packs the strongest punch for me. The lack of additional vocalists to complicate the track keep it honed in on the raw emotion of the verses, strengthening the sense of internal resolve. This makes the original album version of the track my default go-to. Plus, the sheer fact that so many versions have emerged since the original released muddies the waters, eventually pointing listeners back to the original, to get a glimpse of the songwriters' original intent.
 


Which is your favorite version of "Hard Love"? 

 

Assembled from the four corners of North America and many other corners in between, the NRTeam is comprised of staffers whose energy is equally dispersed towards loving music and writing about the music they love.

Christian Music, Devotionals, Interviews, Editorials
Matthew West Devos
NEW! EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
Matthew West: Still Has Something to Say
We reflect on his career through various interviews ...
 
 
Top 10 Episodes of the Jamie Grace Show
NEW! AN NRTEAM FEATURE
Top 10 Episodes of 'The Jamie Grace Show'
We share our favorites from her ongoing vlog.
Behind the Song Devos
NEW! BEHIND THE SONG DEVOTIONALS
Jason Gray & For All Seasons
They share about the songs 'Learning' and 'Higher'...
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Christian Music, Facebook Christian Music, Twitter Christian Music, Google Christian Music, YouTube Christian Music, Instagram

ADVERTISEMENTS

Christian Music

©2017 NewReleaseToday
A Division Of NRT Media Inc.

CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Discover
New This Week
Coming Soon
Free Downloads
Album Preview
Playlists
Reviews

MOVIES/TV

Trailers
Reviews

NEWS

New Music
Movies / Media
Books
Events
Tours
General

VIDEOS

Music Videos
Exclusives
#NRTLive Hangouts

EXCLUSIVES

Articles
Devotionals
Interviews
Concert Reviews
Contests
We Love Awards

NRT RADIO NETWORK
replica watches
One
Worship
Remix
Jam The Hype
Christmas
payment gateway

 

MORE INFO

RSS
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Advertising
Staff
New Music Email
Contact

CONNECT

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Google+
Periscope