Review Summary: Black Country Communion improves the songwriting on their second album, and thus improves upon the foundation of their self-titled debut.
"Black Country Communion" was a good-to-great debut album with a few standout songs and a couple duds. However, on album #2, (simply titled "2") Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian, and Jason Bonham have improved their songwriting by tangible degrees. The self-titled debut began to run together after a while, but on "2" the songs are more varied and thus more interesting.
"The Outsider" is a no-hold-barred opener, as the racing tempo and main riff light up the song, providing a bedrock for Glenn Hughes' vocals. The overall feel of "2" is heavier than "Black Country Communion", as songs like the swaggering "Man In The Middle" show. There are still a couple of epic tracks in the "Song of Yesterday"-esque "An Ordinary Son" and "Save Me", among others. Joe Bonamassa's vocals have more presence here than on the self-titled, as he takes the lead on both "An Ordinary Son" and the Led Zeppelin-inspired "The Battle for Hadrian's Wall". Bonamassa's guitar playing is also more varied,from the heavy riff of "The Outsider" to the more classic blues stylings of "Little Secret". Jason Bonham and Hughes still are one of the better rhythm sections in classic rock, and Derek Sherinian is given more opportunities to show off his keyboarding abilities on "2". He provides a haunting intro to "Save Me", and has actual solos (see "The Outsider" for an example, where Bonamassa and Sherinian trade dueling solos on their respective instruments to bad-ass effect). Glenn Hughes is still the same old awesome Glenn Hughes vocalwise.
"2" is a better album than "Black Country Communion" because of a couple things. First, it is obvious than in the year's span between the self-titled and "2" Black Country Communion molded together more cohesively as a band. Thus, the songwriting has improved tangibly, as each member shows off their respective talents more while still remaining committed to playing together within the songs.