Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hiatt Still Has It

As was mentioned last week, John Hiatt has a new album out. Released today, Same Old Man proves to be one of John Hiatt's best. After a thirty-four year recording career, it just amazes me that Hiatt still has it. His lyrics are perfect, his sound just as refreshing as ever. And he hasn't lost that John Lee Hooker influence that sets him apart from modern artists.
Hiatt's daughter Lily contributes on two tracks, beautifully on both, the following being my favorite of the two:
Love You Again

I was feeling through the dark
I didn’t know how far
It can all run away with you sometimes
In an empty boxcar
You were trying to tell me something
I wasn’t listening to you
There was nothing but confusion
Every time that train come blowing through

Then you wrote me in a letter
I don’t know how your courage came
You told me what you wanted
Every word in tears and flame
How you loved me more than ever
Despite all the hurt inside
And it cracked my heart wide open
Until there was no place left to hide

And I want to thank you babe
For letting me back in
I want to thank you for asking me
To love you again
I want to thank you babe
For letting me back in
I want to thank you for asking me to love you again

I’d forgotten how to be patient
I’d forgotten how to caress
I’d forgotten how to ask for help
And how to struggle for my best
I was harder than those iron wheels
Rolling down the track
And every trip I took
I never looked to get any feelings back

I want to thank you babe
For letting me back in
I want to thank you for asking me
To Love you again
I want to thank you babe
For letting me back in
I want to thank you for asking me
To love you again

You met me at the station
With a promise and a kiss
My love for you will always be true
But you must remember this
Respect me and protect me
But don’t expect me not to fall
I will do the same for you until the final call
I want to thank you babe
For letting me back in
I want to thank you for asking me
To love you again
Pretty decent for a guy who has been writing songs for thirty-four years, wouldn't you say? "Thirty Years of Tears" will forever remain my favorite John Hiatt song, but there's room for any of his recent tracks on Same Old Man to sneak in a close second.

1 comment:

Michel Couzijn said...

Hi Tara, this is Amsterdam on the line (you know, it's only on the other side of the Atlantic). In the quiet of the night I was listening to John's newest album, this song 'Love You Again' struck a chord, and I went looking for the lyrics. So 'I want to thank you' for posting them.

I've been following John Hiatt ever since 1985's Warming Up To The Ice Age'. In the 1980's when he was tiny in the US, John had already quite a following here in The Netherlands.

One of the best concerts I remember was in between 'Ice Age' and 'Bring the family', when John played a double bill with Loudon Wainwright III. Just a piano and a guitar, maybe 50 people in the audience, and John being very friendly and open to conversations after the show. I remember talking with him about 'Ice Age' and how he was glad that its relative success allowed him to make one more album. Later, that album was the one lifting him out of a songwriter's misery.

I've always loved John's concise way of songwriting, his wordplay, his 'chewing' on the words, the imagery, the great passion along with the mundane details.

20 yers ago, John was on my cassette tape walkman, 10 years ago on my discman, and now he's on my mp3 player. And he keeps on giving, with astonishing constancy.

Love You Again is indeed a great song, true, wise, comforting, and courageous too. A song to cherish. I didn't know that it was his daughter singing the extra vocals - so that's the two-year old who said grace while praying 'help the starving people to get well - but let my brother's hampster burn in hell'... :-) Time flies.

Cheers,

Michel