BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Micah P Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra (Inertia)

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Micah P Hinson: Sunrise Over the Olympus Mons
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Micah P Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra (Inertia)

This slight American singer-songwriter impressed hugely on a brief New Zealand tour a few years ago when he delivered his reflective acoustic songs and wry between-songs banter to very small but appreciative audiences.
Cult figure then -- and much the same today I am guessing.
Here with a small string section (and his own impressive catalogue of keyboard and string instruments) he takes his dark brown, smoke-cured vocals through deceptively simple melodies, songs of yearning for love which have a slightly country inflection, and arrangements which shift from the sad to the emotionally searing.
Here are lullabys for the troubled who cannot find sleep or solace, flickers of hope in the darkness, pain tempered by understanding, and the personal elevated into the universal.
And memorable music with that burned-off voice taking you in and down.
Quite something.

There is a revealing interview with Hinson under Absolute Elsewhere here

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Glenn Bittle - Nov 25, 2008

A unique style - very simple style - almost speech-like. Took a few plays to get into, but now I have, it's a favourite. Glenn

allen - Dec 18, 2008

Bit of a stretch but gets one of my votes for album of the year. The singer-songwriter genre is in overdrive these days and whilst many of the offerings have great content (lyrics), the music doesn't support the message. This album covers that my having great instrumentation, giving the nest of both worlds - listening quality lyrics not buried by sound.

Martin - Jan 12, 2010

Micah P. Hinson and the reo has some great moments. His doleful languid and Johnny Cash deep voice backed by sympathetic strings can envelope you in a satisfying melancholy. It may take a few listens,but soon enough you'll be mimicking his singing and answering his endearing and romantic questions.Along with his 'time inside' backstory,obviously some crap food and quick showers didn't hinder his musicality.Happens he's afraid of 'Dyin'alone',along with the rest of us.Like trying to sing along with Morrissey,difficult, but so rewarding.

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