zaterdag, april 30

"Perfectly Good Guitar," released in 1993, finds John Hiatt flexing his rock 'n' roll muscles. He can still find a balance with slower, folkier, or bluesy numbers--which are also perfect vehicles for his throaty, nasal vocals--but it's the stomping, harder offerings that really stand out.

The opening track, "Something Wild" gets the album off to an explosive start, complete with Hiatt's cougar-like howls and snarls and his syncopated rhythm guitar. The title track is equally powerful and raw, with an ominous chord progression that reflects the singer's anger toward other artists who disrespect or mistreat his favorite sacred instrument.
"Buffalo River Home" is one of those in-between songs that manages to be both rocking and folky at the same time.

"Angel" is terrific, but "Cross My Fingers" might be the album's high point. The song manages to be haunting in spite of its breakneck pace. "Permanent Hurt" is also toe-tapping and catchy, proving Hiatt hasn't lost his knack for insightfulness and wit.
As far as the ballads go, "Blue Telescope" is quite memorable, and perfectly placed among the faster numbers. An all-around solid album, and a must for any John Hiatt aficionado.

If you've never owned a Hiatt disc, give the guy a chance.
His clever lyrics and distinctive melodies will surely pull you in.