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John Hiatt: Little Head

Andy Gill, MOJO, July 1997

CONTINUING THE HIGH STANDARDS of Perfectly Good Guitar and Walk On, but with a lighter heart and a jauntier spring to its step, Little Head deserves a finally push John Hiatt from the ranks of the critically-acclaimed into more commercially-quantifiable realms. Opening with its little track, a sexy stupidity (in which Hiatt finds a rhyme for "Eddie Vedder"), Little Head tacks between Boss-sized stadium-raunch swaggers like 'Pirate Radio', 'Sure Pinocchio' and 'Woman Sawed In Half', and more intimate, reflective love songs like 'My Sweet Girl', which sways and spoons over a loping synth-bass grove. Best of the bunch may be 'Graduated', in which former college sweethearts find themselves growing further apart, "living out history, but we're dead to the world, 'cos we both graduated". What's most notable about the album, though, is Hiatt's new-found confidence in his own vocals, however raw or vulnerable they turn out. On 'Runaway', he can even be heard breaking into a falsetto yodel on the chorus. Whatever next?

Total word count of piece: 446

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