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David Hurn | He Was A Woman (Fire)
Slow starts. I love albums which have the confidence to start quietly, letting you drift into the record, not dragging you in like rocking openers often do. This one begins with the title track, and what sounds like a cello drifting over moorland at nightfall, before some sweet strumming starts up and the quiet vocals enter. Track two, Don't Have to Live, thickens the sound and ups the tempo a little, building to a chug that's about as up as Hurn gets. Books etc. is coasting and lovely and here we remain, mostly. The air of melancholia rarely lifts, which is fine by me, and the man's voice suits. He'd getting compared to Mark Eitzel and Smog which, for me, seems to miss the point by denying his undoubted English accent. I was reminded of none other than Glenn Tilbrook myself. Weird noise interventions and distant voices spice up the brew, especially on instrumental Unfortunate Comedy, which is all weird noise, and leads into an unconvincing attempt at country and western called You Don't Want to Know that strikes a rare off note. But another attempt at bounciness, the train-like tempo of No Love works a treat, and the non-tapping of toes here is not an option. So, wait until evening, lie back, program out the faux country... unwind.

Jeff Cotton
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002

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