Monday, February 4, 2013

Review - Hayden, "Us Alone" (Arts & Crafts)

     It's been a week now since I first began listening to Hayden's new album "Us Alone", when I first started streaming it I opened up a word document, I do this so as the album plays and I hear something that triggers a thought or feeling I'll type it out, this has become my routine for writing my reviews. I've been listening to his music since the beginning and I can say without a doubt that "Us Alone" is the first album of his that I've really felt the lyrics as they were being sung. Hayden knows a good thing ; so you can tell that he's not going to stray too far from his sound that he's become known for, the gentle voice that I've always felt was more like an instrument on its own,  so distinct among a sea of Auto-Tune.

   The album kicks off with Motel, a song that reminds us Hayden makes music we can always revisit and not feel like a stranger. Just Give Me A Name builds upon itself, starting slow it grows with fire but to be honest I'm still trying to figure out the story of the song…maybe if I can get an interview I'll ask him. With Blurry Nights Hayden is fused with songstress Lou Cannon, the song kicks up the heat of the album to a nice respectable temp, if two voices were ever meant to record together it's theirs. Old Dreams digs a folk/sonic/space love letter.

    "Us Alone" continues its trip with "Almost Everything", its Harmonica & keyboard takes us on a journey back to the early days of Hayden when "music was everything; it was everything" then to the present where he lays out the line "I'm recording once again while my kid is upstairs in bed", it's like the soundtrack to a Hayden autobiography . Oh Memory is a song that a lot of us can relate to, the sadness in not being able to remember that love from long ago (at least that's what I took from it). The album than hits into Rainy Saturday the leadoff single, it's a catchy track that sticks in your mind even after it's over. 

    Then it's the six minute and 40 second opus that is Instructions is basically instructions for what the writer wants done with his ashes after they have passed on, only Hayden could take a song with this subject matter and make it sound incredibly beautiful…"that's how I'd love this to end". 

    As the song Instructions faded away I was left pondering what would I want done with me after I'm gone but before the thoughts started emanating from my mind the music was back…yes there is a "hidden" track on the album; I was told that it's the title track from the album. If there is one thing I have always liked is when artists give you that surprise of a hidden track at the end, so this really topped off what was already a wonderful record, so thank you Hayden for giving us what I would like to announce as the Record of the Year, yes I know it's only February but this is my Blog and I can do what I want.

"Us Alone" is released on February the 5th via  Arts & Crafts

Get it HERE on iTunes

Joe Cornelisse-SMM

No comments:

Post a Comment