IAN HUNTER

Man Overboard

2009-07-29

You'd think that at age of seventy, the former Mott the Hoople front man would be calling it quits. You couldn't be more wrong. Following up the critically acclaimed 2007 solo release Shrunken Heads, Ian Hunter is back with another gem that doesn't take long to like. With his debut on New West Records, Hunter has written songs that are filled with guitar, mandolin, accordion, banjo, piano - all accompanied by a voice that still sounds strong. For sure, the singer/songwriter has his whole life to draw upon, both the good times and the bad. For instance, on the title track, "Man Overboard," Hunter laments the trouble filled life as he sings "man overboard, waves washing over me, sometimes it's a perilous sea." Another great track where you get a picture of Hunter's heart is the beautifully crafted and yet sad "Flowers," where he shares: "I can't see God, the trees are in the way. Can't see hope, can't find love." While melancholy abounds, there's also a few hope-filled gems as well. "These Feelings" reads like a greeting card as it reflects on a love that has lasted through the years. The short but positive "Win it All" almost sounds out of place here, but offers some much needed optimism to get through the difficult days of life. There's even the humorous opener "The Great Escape," in which Hunter shares his apparent 'escape' from an impending bar fight, perhaps reflecting on his younger days. On the whole, each track here is enjoyable in its own way - with songs made for just about any occasion and any mood. The result: a collection of songs that most listeners will come back to again and again. ~Reviewed by Jeff Bouma

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