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  • Cheyenne Johnson

Review: "The Hard Way" - Eighty Ninety




Loving and committing to someone means choosing them every day. No matter what life throws at you, if you love someone, you'll fight for them no matter what. Duo Eighty Ninety explores this in their new single, "The Hard Way." Elaborating on the song's meaning, the two explain, "'The Hard Way' is about choosing to love someone no matter how much life intervenes. It’s about being brave enough to make the choice to completely commit to a person, no matter the risk. It's about looking directly at all your fears about how things could go wrong and knowing that even if they all come to pass, it's still worth it."



Soft and sweet, "The Hard Way" begins with contemplative piano chords and gentle vocals. Vocalist Abner James delivers reflective lines with a vulnerable warmth that's swoonworthy, making the single an evocative love song. The instrumentation builds as the song progresses, adding in synths, guitar, and percussion. Eighty Ninety discusses the connection between the song's composition and its meaning, stating: "With the production we tried to evoke the sense of the relationship being increasingly tested by life, increasing the instrumentation with every chorus, almost like we are trying to break the song. But it holds — and by the end we're hoping the swelling percussion and harmonies feel uplifting; there's beauty in hope."


Following the release of Eighty Ninety's debut single, "Three Thirty," the duo quickly achieved success with the track reaching the #2 position on Spotify's Global Viral Chart. Since this debut, Eighty Ninety has accrued over 30 million streams and has been featured on numerous playlists, including New Music Friday, Pop Rising, Chill Pop, Indie Pop, and many more. The NYC-based group is comprised of two brothers, Abner and Harper James, who together have created a distinctive sound built on minimalist pop productions and intimate storytelling. Some of their popular releases include "10K Summer Nights," "Your Favorite Song," and "Three Thirty."


Written By Cheyenne Johnson


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