Hayes Carll – What It Is (album review)

by Woody on February 18, 2019

Photo by David McClister

Over the last month, my kids have been binge watching Lemony Snicket on Netflix while I’ve bingeing on Hayes Carll’s catalogue. Much like how Lemony pops into scenes and explains what’s happening, Carll always seemed to pop into his songs to paint a vivid picture of his surroundings.

That changed a bit with 2016’s Lovers & Leavers, an album that was on the heels of a divorce. As opposed to popping into a scene populated by others, Carll was more reflective on this effort.

Now on What It Is, Carll pivots slightly again; mixing in tracks about newfound love with Allison Moorer with his observations on current events. I’ve thought the election of Trump was the last gasp of old white men; something that Carll puts to song with Fragile Men. He follows that dark track with Wild Pointy Finger, a tune with an upbeat swagger that looks at how one can always blame others

Carll’s sound is on point throughout. The album’s vibe is laid back but the tracks are tight as a drum. Jesus and Elvis, Be There and None’ya are among some of Carll’s best tracks. All in all, What It Is is another stellar entry in Carll’s catalog.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Hayes Carll is here

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