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Friday, May 30, 2008

CD Review: Hayden - In Field & Town

Hayden - In Field & Town
2008, Fat Possum Records (US), Hardwood Records (Canada)

The enigmatic Canadian singer/songwriter known as Hayden has been plying his musical trade for a lot of years now. I remember checking out some of his early recordings in the mid- to late-90's and being rather impressed. Hayden has always had a talent for writing these eclectic, mellow rock songs with thoughtful lyrics and wonderful melodies. These talents are still quite in evidence years later on his latest release, In Field & Town.

Hayden is the anti-rock star, seemingly to be in music more for the art than the almighty dollar or fame. This combination of humility, talent, experience and a constant search for musical perfection has built quite a catalog for Hayden over the years; yet In Field & Town may be his finest work yet.

Hayden is an acquired taste, I believe, but one worth acquiring. Despite an everyman's voice and less than clear diction, Hayden songs come across as near-perfect cameos of life's moments (or non-moments). Highlights on In Field & Town include Worthy of Your Esteem, More Than Alive, Did I Wake Up Beside You?, and Where And When. Where and When is a bit of reverie about a first meeting with someone significant, and will bring a smile to all but the most of cynical listeners.

The finest track here is Damn This Feeling. This is a musical soliloquy that should be required listening in any course about songwriting. Damn This Feeling should rank in the pantheon of great songs. If nothing else, In Field & Town has reminded me of what a fine talent Hayden possesses. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't give In Field & Town a listen.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Hayden at You can purchase a copy of In Field & Town through Fat Possum Records .

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