Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JOHN HIATT

TERMS OF MY SURRENDER

2014-07-30

John Hiatt continues his prodigious release schedule with his fourth release since 2010 and his 22nd studio album overall. This disc features his well greased touring band and a live, intimate sound. While Hiatt has always incorporated a splash of blues into his discs this release has ample doses of melancholy and heartbreak in the lyrics that match well with the blues shuffles of a number of the cuts including "Face of God", "Nothin' I Love" and "Terms of My Surrender". As is typically the case with Hiatt's discs a close listen is rewarded with lyrical twists such as found on "Face of God" where you think suffering in the name of religion is the topic only to find out that Hiatt's suffering is in the duty of having his woman show what she's got or on the saucy "Baby's Gonna Kick" where his waxes nostalgic about "listening to John Lee Hooker/Got my mind on a slow meat cooker". Better yet is the observation on the title cut that "sometimes love can be so wrong/like a fat man in a thong." On "Old People" he notes that little old people are pushy because they don't have much time and drive like they do because they really don't care what you think. However, Hiatt is also good enough not to get caught in his own cleverness and on "Nobody Knew His Name" he takes his tongue out of his cheek and paints a vivid picture of the guy on the edge of every scene that everyone knows but no one can really claim as a friend and on "Wind Don't Have to Hurry" he warns of the power of the thought police on top of a big vocal chorus, plucky banjo and mandolin. "Come Back Home" closes things out with an earnest promise to take back every song he's ever written for the reappearance of a loved one. Given his incredible talent, that's a trade that surely can't be taken lightly. While many this deep into their career are on the Casino circuit cashing in on their hits, Hiatt remains a vital artist who continues to push himself as he examines a life to be lived to its fullest. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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