Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance (ATO, 2012)
Reviewed by Michael Verity
Taken on the surface, it's not a pretty picture at all.
But underneath the sad and somber surface of the 12 songs, there an inherent beauty and, sometimes, even a bit humor. The beauty is in the song's sparse arrangements, in Hood's gentle poetry and especially in his plaintive voice, as fragile and tender as ever, sometimes sounding as if it were dust sifting through one's fingers. The humor, in one instance, is in the turn of a phrase. On Better Off Without, he sings about a girl "so sweet she rots my teeth when I kiss her."
Not for a minute is this a party record - or even one that should be played on the roadhouse jukebox next to Hank Williams or Steve Earle. But, heard in it's right place, in the dark of night and preferably alone, "Heat Lightning In The Distance" is a brilliant work, a beautiful portrayal of the human condition.
CDs by Patterson Hood
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