Monday, February 25, 2008

Best of 2007 - #20

20. whiskey priest - 'hungry'
And then, sometimes, you need to rest. You need to sit down, dim the lights and be quiet, let your troubles and your tiredness sink in. That's when you put 'Hungry' on. Whiskey Priest is Noah Hall and his guitar, together with a few friends, and it's the acoustic album of the year. The first line of the band's description on their MySpace reads I like quiet songs. I like honest songs., and that's precisely what 'Hungry' delivers. Songs that whisper and gently strum their words and chords to you, but also songs that resonate deeply very long after you've heard them because of the brutal honesty with which they are delivered. Noah also says love makes me want to sing songs about love, but don't think by that quote that you're getting into some sappy pink album. At its core, 'Hungry' is wounded and heartbroken. It's not completely hopeless and bleak, but hope is a distant concept, one that is there merely as a little beacon of light (should the years choose to be kind and after all you're still inclined, if some day I come across your mind and we're not completely out of time, I will be with you - 'Waiting Game'). Throughout these thirty-five minutes, Noah exposes his bare feelings, through outrageously beautiful and varied compositions, despite never leaving the simple guitar/voice/piano set-up. The guitar and voice were recorded live, for honesty's sake, so every song sounds warm, personal and like Noah is singing to you while sitting across your chair in your room. The lyrics don't offer too many unsolvable riddles, but they manage to speak of things in a very evocative way, bringing up very powerful images that complement the melodic richness of the songs perfectly. Highlights are everything, with every song glowing in its own very individual aura - there's the surprisingly gorgeous minimalist version of 'Sweet Child O' Mine', appropriately shortened to 'Sweet Child' as the second verse isn't sung, there's the biting sarcasm of 'Love & A Gun' (all you need is love, love is all you need, yeah, love and a gun I mean), there's the desperate wishing of 'Superman' (wanna be someone's hero someday if I can, don't wanna end up one more broken superman) and there's 'Souvenir', an exceptionally dangerous song if you're on heartbroken street yourself, so desolate and melancholic an ending it provides to the album, a bit like David Poe's 'Love Won't Last The Afternoon' on his remarkable 'Love Is Red' album. Yeah, I do run-on sentences when something touches me deeply, and that's precisly what 'Hungry' has done. Goddamn it, even the packaging itself is amazing, with a strangely moving little tale by Gina Ochsner that explains the meaning of the album title. If there's still some heart left in you after the world beats you down, you need this.

Whiskey Priest - 'Souvenir'

Go buy it here.


  1. Anonymous9:09 pm

    Link didn't work for me but anything that sounds like "Love Won't Last the Afternoon" I just gotta hear.

  2. Anonymous9:11 pm

    Wait, forget that, listening now. This reminds me of Grandaddy's "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot." Same melody.