John Wesley Harding
First Appeared in The Music Box, July/August 1996, Volume 3, #5
Written by John Metzger
John Wesley Harding's previous efforts have been good, though they largely have appropriated the style of Elvis Costello. On New Deal, Harding departs from mere replication in order to broaden his range, and the result is an excellent collection of material. It's a more subtle affair, but his stellar wit and masterful lyrical abilities remain intact. Touches of The Moody Blues drift throughout the endeavor, while In Paradise borrows heavily from The Kinks' Waterloo Sunset. Perhaps Harding caught Ray Davies' recent tour? Oddly, New Deal has yet to receive much attention from radio stations, but the infectious nature of his previous outing Why We Fight ignites the gentle To Whom It May Concern as well as the springy Kiss Me, Miss Liberty.
New Deal is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1996 The Music Box