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Radio Hour | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Radio Hour

by Jamie Kiffel

With steady, heart-bearing emotion washing through the notes like a young Michael Stipe, Tim Hort has created the R.E.M. album we've all been wishing for since Out of Time. True, Stipe wouldn't have written a lyric like "For every sun in the sunset/There breeds a place for the evil seed" (sounds more like Nickelback), but the style is dead-on Southern Gothic, and Hort's way of cradling each note in his mouth before letting it go is purely Stipean. The track "Chemistry" in particular is noteworthy for its use of gentle piano, mortifying without being embarrassing (a feat only saints can usually achieve). There are also echoes of the lesser-known beatnik band, Devonsquare, but without its hit-you-over-the-head philosophy; shades of Bob Seeger without his jaded age; Jayhawks without the overproduction. Everything naturally includes a minor key, whether it be energetic or sighing, and like Stipe, Hort often half-swallows his words, softening the verbal impact while more strongly moving the blood. Yet The Radio Hour has a conviction all its own, still discovering the nature of pain and experience, measuring, years before judging.


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