2012-09-12Yeah, that Ian Hunter: the one who fronted Mott the Hoople back in the 70's with such legendary tracks as "All the Young Dudes", "Roll Away the Stone" and "All the Way From Memphis" before moving on and starting a solo career that would be notable even if it didn't spawn the classic, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". So has time been cruel or kind to the now 73 year old? A spin through the 11 cuts collected here reveals that Hunter still has both a sharp ear as a songwriter and a rocking vocal delivery that cedes nothing to the march of time. Backed by The Rant Band which includes Andy York on guitar, (John Mellencamp), Steve Holley on drums and percussion (Wings, Joe Cocker), Paul Page on bass (Dion), Jack Petruzzelli on electric guitar (Rufus Wainwright, Joan Osbourne), James Mastro on electric guitar (Patti Smith, John Cale) and Andy Burton on piano and organ, Hunter has all the rock fire power he needs to pull off yet another terrific disc. Not content to deliver variations of his past hits, Hunter lays down everything from a first person account of life as the storied Indian Chief Crazy Horse, "Ta Shunka Witco", to Small Faces style rockers, "Wild Bunch", to the salacious Stones groove of "Comfortable (Flyin' Scottsman)", to earnest ballads about not taking things too seriously, "Life", to Springsteen worthy tales of adoration, "Just The Way You Look Tonight", and the title cut's examination of the stark difference between the promises made by those yearning for office and the ugly reality of those who get it. In addition to mixing up things lyrically, Hunter and crew are not shy about painting outside rock's normal lines. "Fatally Flawed" alternates between low key balladry and rocking instrumental breaks that would be jarring in lesser hands but jell together here like a musical version of sweet and sour. Wow! Smitty
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