Atmospheric Pop, Light & Airy

Originally posted July 9, 2007

This will be brief today. I have other tasks awaiting me, and I’m a tad under the weather.

Last week, I wrote about finding pretty much by accident Evidence, the 1989 album by Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith. I enjoyed it so much that I began to seek out the solo work of the two artists. As I indicated, I’ve found myself more drawn to Smith’s work than Hewerdine’s. But Hewerdine’s albums have their moments, too.

The first Hewerdine album I found was Baptist Hospital, a 1996 release named – if I recall correctly – because Hewerdine, who is English, wrote the material for the CD while living near Memphis’ Baptist Hospital during a stay in the Tennessee city. Despite the Memphian origins of the songs, though, there’s nothing of the south in Baptist Hospital. This is atmospheric pop, often light and airy. A few of the songs – “Joke,” “A Song For A Friend” and “Greedy” – have a little weight to them, but most of the songs have a delicate, intricate sound.

It is a bit different than the stuff I usually post here, but it is a nice listen. I have three Hewerdine CDs – Ignorance and Thanksgiving are the other two – and I pop them into the player when I’m seeking something quiet and mellow. The effect can sometimes be melancholy, to be sure, but there are moments when one might need that. Melancholy or not, the writing, performance and production on all three – Baptist Hospital included – are assured and very well accomplished.

A note: Among the friends who stopped by to help Hewerdine during the recording of Baptist Hospital was Richard Thompson, who adds his guitar to the tracks “World’s End,” “Holy Water” and “Greedy.”

World’s End
The Love Thieves
Last Cigarette
Baptist Hospital
Song For A Friend
Sycamore Fall
Holy Water

Boo Hewerdine – Baptist Hospital [1996]


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