Imagine having the self confidence to have that as your album sleeve. MC Taylor certainly isn't lacking in a belief in his own ability something that must have been even further boosted when David Bowie once said he liked him. This new album is a rather quick follow up to 'Heart Like a Levee' and comes with his own impenetrable sleeve notes. Check press release to see if you can make head nor tail.
CD £11.49 MRG605CD
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Double LP £17.49 MRG605LP
Gatefold LP on Merge.
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Me and my dad haven't agreed on too much musically of late but one thing we bond over is how overrated Hiss Golden Messenger are. I'll admit they've had their moments over the years - the intimate 'Bad Debt' was great as were moments of 'The Lateness of Dancers' but what is slurred out on his recent albums hasn't warrented the regular good notices he receives....and look at that sleeve. Imagine commissioning that and then approving it?
'Hallelujah Anyhow' is an album of boisterous straight down the line Bob Harris- approved country rock that reaches it's third track before it stops trying to sound like Bob Seger and we start to get something that has some kind of soul to it in 'Jaw'. The mood then slows towards the country-soul ballads that Hiss Golden Messenger have excelled at in the past. 'Harder Rain' finally sounds 'classic', the instrumentation less excitable, MC Taylor's voice sounding less like he's coughing up a hairball. But his music now has no subtlety whatsoever and a lovely verse structure is ruined by a chorus that could come out of the Joe Cocker song book.
Tracks like 'I Am the Song' with it's sub War on Drugs FM radio friendly melody and drivetime chug are my favourite things here. The music manages to be both 'dad' and 'interesting' which is a hard combination to pull off. It's the only song so far that I've wanted to play again and proves that Hiss Golden Messenger are good when they are on form....but not that good.
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