Loudon Wainwright - Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)
‘HGTB (Y)’ presents a sardonic, self reflective, self deprecating take on Loudon’s life and the world around him, covering anything from inner city parking trouble, canine companionship, yuletide homicide, winding down, physical diminishment, love and morgues.
Loudon’s got that skill of putting the pain, pleasure and banality of life in a way you could never have put it, but that makes absolute lucid, (somehow) comical sense.
If you were to believe the man’s lyrics, you would picture a Loudon that creaked in the wind and whistled from an aged, dilapidated throat. And although he’s not quite got that raw power that came with his youth, he’s not far off it. His voice sits between soulfully folk-y blues-y and tongue in cheek Americana, and when you’ve got your tongue wagging and waxing lyrical in and around your cheek, like Loudon does, it doesn’t matter if your voice isn’t choir boy-esque.
Highlights of the record are opener "Brand New Dance" with its sarcastically up-tempo take on the banality of slowing down and getting old. "Harlan Dog" is a somehow poignant song about not being able to get a drink, with harmonies-a-lovely. And title track "Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet)" sums up the ‘old man’s down trodden optimism with regard to being an old man and being depressed about being an old man but not quite being downright blue about being an old man.
He is one of the most heart-wrenchingly humorously blatant and open songwriters you will ever hear. Watch a video clip of him performing live (any one will do) and you will see the paradoxical sadness and humour that runs through his lyrics, running it’s way across his face with a blue grimace and a wink in his eye.
He’s still got the stones, still got heaps of songs left in him and he's churned out another great bunch of ‘em.8/10