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Same Old Man by John Hiatt
Released: May 2008
Label: New West Records
Leading up to Same Old Man's release, Hiatt kept telling folks that he was working on a record dedicated solely to love songs. And that was true, but there's a lot more here. The instant stunner is "Hurt My Baby," country-soul that will first make you think of the Michaels -- Bolton and McDonald -- but then totally submerge you in boiling tears. The rest, of course, is typical Hiatt: Dylan-inspired roots poetry from a middle-aged singer-songwriter who understands pop better than most of his peers.
Justin Farrar