Hiss Golden Messenger: Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, May 20th, 2024  

Hiss Golden Messenger

Hallelujah Anyhow


Sep 20, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

M.C. Taylor has always been a songwriter unafraid to mark the starkest contrasts of human emotion. In an interview with The Washington Post last November, Taylor described his last record Heart Like a Levee as a “reflecting pool” for people to view their own emotions in his words and music. This symbolic depiction of audience participation provides a deeper understanding of Taylor’s process and his grasp on his craft. His work as Hiss Golden Messenger is like that of an alt-country street preacher: pensive and passionate with a flare for the romantic.

Hallelujah Anyhow, Taylor’s seventh record as Hiss Golden Messenger, finds the singer/songwriter at his most jovial and uplifting. Backed by an all-star band, including members of Megafaun, Taylor seeks to find light in the darkness through touching storytelling. He seeks to find solace through human connection on “Harder Rain” when he sings, “Harder rain, darker darkness/If it’s up to me, a little love would go a long way.” Album closer “When the Wall Comes Down” finds Taylor making the best out of a grim situation, singing “Turn them into tools and make a garden/On the prison grounds/Turn your chains to roses, child.” There is an overwhelming sense of positivity and hope throughout Hallelujah Anyhow, with Taylor’s pen finding rays of sunshine in cloudy spaces.

The music of Hiss Golden Messenger has always fallen more in the realm of alt-country, but on his seventh effort Taylor provides some much appreciated bluesy swagger. “Domino (Time Will Tell)” chugs mightily behind a soulful slide guitar and some very welcome barroom vocals from Taylor. The harmonies continue to be a bright spot for Hiss Golden Messenger, and nowhere is this more apparent than on “Jaw,” where Taylor’s high pitched southern twang fits snug amongst the rest of the company. Hallelujah Anyhow is another strong record from one of the hardest working songwriters in the business, and hopefully we won’t have to wait long again to hear what he has to say. (www.hissgoldenmessenger.com)


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.