Gentle Readers’ Hihoney Review

I picked up the (now defunct) Gentle Readers’ album Hihoney via Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles’ Stuff package. I’ve never been one to listen to an album all the way through. On the rare occassions that I have a CD, I rip it into iTunes and wait for the individual tracks to come up on random. When ‘Nothing You Can Do’ came up this afternoon, I stopped. If every song on the album is like this, I need to hear it. Right now.

As a whole, this is the perfect album for an early autumn day in the upper Midwest. Melancholy, comforting, catchy. Like when the sun is low in a blue sky, and that cool, light breeze through the bare trees means you really should have grabbed a scarf before you left. Just like NE Minneapolis right now.

I can see why Dave likes talking with Lee so much. Her smokey voice must be accompanied by strings and drums in regular conversation. (This comment makes no sense based on Dave’s comment below)

That being said, here’s the song-by-song run down.

  • Nothing You Can Do & Lunchhour
    Two nice honest, unpretentious, alt country tunes. Comfortable and timeless, like a more mature Be Good Tanyas or if Son Volt was fronted by a woman.
  • Last Day at the Office
    This is the theme song to Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles. I’m waiting for Dave break in with “Hello friends and neighbors”. Oh sure, it’s a nice enough song without Dave.
  • Difficult
    A few years back, a colleague of mine commented on turning 31, “I now know how to get what I want and people take me seriously”. This song is that comment put to music.
  • Sweetest Taboo
    My least favorite song on the album. I just don’t think it translated well to a recording. If I was at the Kitty Kat Bar sipping whiskey and the Gentle Readers played this song live, I’d declare it the best song of the set. This song needs a dark, melancholy, spacious atmosphere. The home office is none of these.
  • Center of the Universe & Turn Up the Sound
    These tracks remind me of early Edie Brickell or Natalie Merchant, songs that make you stop and let all those great, long forgotten memories flood over you.
  • California

    “the moral of the story is – there is no moral”

    Ouch. I did have one small sliver of hope left. No longer.

  • California Part 2
    I’m sure there are some happy, sunny songs titled ‘California’ in the world. This is the third in my library that isn’t. Like the others, it’s a catchy tune about loss and regret.
  • Separate & Friction
    Neither of these tracks did anything for me. They’re solid tunes with a decent beat, just feel like they’re missing the clever, honest writing that makes a song more than a solid tune with a decent beat.

Support independent musicians and podcasters, head over to Dave’s site and pick up the album. You’ll make his day and for that, he’ll throw in an EGC t-shirt.

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