Album Review: Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow

Following on from MC Taylor and band’s sensational 2016 record Heart Like A Levee, Hiss Golden Messenger have returned with another rapturous and enlightening Americana folk album in Hallelujah Anyhow

This album is the band’s most produced record but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The vocals, the tone, the lyrics, and the musicianship all shine. Opening with the bittersweet Jenny Of The Roses, Taylor sings, “I’ve never been afraid of the darkness, it’s just a different kind of light.” Such lyrics sound pretty optimistic in these trying times. He sings of finding and taking pleasure in the little things and the wonders of life with an upbeat piano driven beat

Following tracks include Lost Out In The Darkness, a song in which we really begin to understand the message of the whole album. We have ten tracks with a voice for the times we are living in. Through metaphor and simile the album speaks the truth of so many artists and Americans. In addition, the record covers many different genres including the gospel leaning Harder Rain

One of the standout tracks comes half way through the record with I Am The Song. It’s a personal reflection on humanism and life as an artist, with some exceptional harmonica blasting throughout. John The Gun is a slow burn but becomes quite a funky track that touches on some hot button issues whilst still leaving the listener with hope at the end. It also features some great horn work from the band. Then we got some solid rock on Domino (Time Will Tell)

The album ends with a powerful tune called When The Wall Comes Down. You can imagine the thoughts we all have about this subject – it’s not so straight forward but it is hopeful and important

This album is topical, hopeful, beautiful, and truly soulful. Hiss Golden Messenger have followed a standout album of 2016 with an equally sensational record, and leads to expect even more from MC Taylor band co. in the near future

Jake Krickhan