Saturday, 16 January 2010

Micah P. Hinson
All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers
Full Time Hobby Records
Rating: 1/5

This album is divided into two Volumes, Volume 1 being acoustic tracks and Volume 2 being full-band tracks. The album itself is comprised wholly of covers. Quite simply, this was an album that didn’t need to be made. For the most part, his voice does not suit the songs he attempts, and insofar as making them his own, he fails and the songs become just morbid attempts at folk for the sake of folk.

The electric volume, more my thing, was even more dire; the cover of ‘Listen To Me’ by Buddy Holly actually had me laughing, whilst ‘In The Pines’ brought nothing new to the original, and lacked the conviction even of the recent Nirvana cover. The instrumentation seems to ape early Jesus and Mary Chain, though it is hard to tell why this might be the desired effect. Given the relative quality of his original folk compositions, it is frankly baffling to me why Micah would want to release this collection at all.

Thankfully, the album ends on a positive note. On ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, he sticks to his register and a more appropriate vocal delivery. Dropping his faux-crooner trappings and attempts at Cash- like hoarseness this rendition relies on the talent of the backing band to deliver a stirring rendition of the classic. Unfortunately, by this point it is already too little, too late to redeem the album.

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