Hayes Carll

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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Photo by David McClister

Hayes Carll returns with his sixth album, and the first since 2016’s excellent Lovers and Leavers. Below are the first two tracks and based on these, What It Is will be another winner. Here’s some info from the PR team.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks. With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Hayes Carll is here

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