Music Review: Hiss Golden Messenger, Lord I Love the Rain
Fall always blows in abruptly, with too many chilling, rainy days that make it hard to get out of bed.
But on his latest release Lord I Love the Rain, Hiss Golden Messenger finds a way to encapsulate these bristled experiences, but adds a twist, ultimately showing listeners how to be still, engulfed by the surrounding and embrace all things, even that biting autumn rain.
Hiss Golden Messenger — aka M.C. Taylor — albums maintain a feel that is dually magnificent; Lord I Love the Rain is not exception. As is customary on past albums, traditional folk once again meshes with a taste Southern mysticism that’s provoking, particularly on several standout songs like “Karen’s Blues” and the instrumental “Born on a Crescent Moon.”
The limited LP is an expansion of a previous EP, and this time around the songs subscribe to richer, fuller formats. Since starting as a one-man show, Hiss Golden Messenger has fully fleshed out its sound, lending itself to diverse multi-layered instrumentation that includes piano, banjo, drums and several more musicians to boot. These songs intend to strike deep and resonate fully.
On the album, Taylor’s voice sounds weathered and distant at times, but not the least bit unrelatable or insincere. The album’s version of “Westering,” an already overwhelming composition from the previous release, is transformed ever so slightly, and these alterations only work in its favor. Hiss Golden Messenger is reaching farther into sound exploration, achieving more depth and breadth than ever with these compositions.
“You Never Know,” with its echoing vocals and sharp electronic elements, picks up speed, compared to the first half of the album. While its placement towards the end of the album might leave listeners with some unspent energy, it’s wonderfully telling of the direction the band might undertake in future chapters.
Like the season, Hiss Golden Messenger remains mysterious but comfortable once you adjust to its strong-willed temperaments and tendencies.For listeners, the take away is quite basic. Slow things down and remember to love, whether it be the Lord, the rain or simply the human experience.
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