Monday, February 11, 2013

Reason To Believe – The Songs Of Tim Hardin
Various Artists
Full Time Hobby

Hardin was one of the most covered artists of the 60s for his dark lyrics and stark music.  He died before his time, in 1980, after drugs had taken its toll on him. A new generation of musicians made him an icon once again.  Now comes a new collection of his songs by today’s indie artists that proves what a great songwriter he was.

All of these tracks have something to recommend them, but some stand out.  Mark Lanegan’s Red Balloon, shows how stark Hardin could be, with its tale of uncertain love. Alela Diane’s How Can We Hang Onto a Dream, is dramatic and sad. Okkervil River’s It’ll Never Happen Again, dark, depressing, Will Sheff sounding like he’s at the end of his rope. The Sand Band with Reason To believe, is almost cynical about whether to believe or not. Finally, Sand Fairies, If I Were A Carpenter, the darkest cover on the album, is lovelorn, heartfelt, but hopeful.

In these covers, Hardin’s music lives on, and shows that for all the hope and happiness that were the 60s, and 70s, the flip side was wondering if everything was too good to be true. Hardin’s music speaks to that, as do these covers.  Their uniform brilliance proves that Hardin was a songwriter for the ages, and whether you know his songs well, or are new and discovering them, this comp will do it for you,  for this is a very loving tribute to him. 
Andrea Weiss

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