A five star effort from Jason Hawk Harris leads an impressive collection of albums.
Adam Hood’s Different Groove
A “Taylor’s Version” style re-recording of one of his earliest albums finds Hood leaning into the Keen-ing, Prine-y aesthetic he’s refined over the years, with rowdy new arrangements that highlight how good a songwriter he was right from the jump.
They remain wholly committed to having no discernible identity or POV beyond making competent tracks that serve as filler on radio playlists. This particular iteration goes on for ages, and not a one of these songs sticks.
Finley’s such a powerhouse that he shines even when Auerbach tries to pull focus with his production choices. He leans into the absurdity of the most extreme blues proclamations, knowing that, sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re hurting is laugh.
Proof of Life (Deluxe)
Bonus material elevates a solid if perhaps too low-key album. What fascinates about Oladokun is that her themes are often radical while her aesthetic is doggedly mellow. Here, that blunts the impact of her message at times.
Jason Hawk Harris
That death is uncanny ultimately makes deep human connection at once futile and essential, and makes life a constant flux of ecstasy, horror, humor. Here, Jason Hawk Harris captures that lack of sure footing with a fearless, why-not-try-everything approach to style and structure.
“Americana” in the purest sense of that word in terms of its storytelling, and infinitely more interesting than what that word implies in terms of its sound, this record is knotty, uneasy stuff. As ever, I wish I’d acquired the taste for Holland’s singing.
Along the Way
The most banal singer-songwriter of her generation puts a cowboy hat and a little bit of banjo on what’s otherwise the same tepid album she’s always recorded. There’s not a single distinctive or even halfway interesting line to be found in this.
Four contemporary country bangers that capture why he should’ve been an A-lister many times over by now, and one Patty Loveless cover so horrific and misguided I can scarcely believe he cut it. In a just world, though, he’d get a couple of radio hits off this.