Friday, October 23, 2009

Mark Seymour - The Closest Living Thing (2008)

From 1981 to 1998 Mark Seymour was the front man and vocalist for Aussie pub-rock band, Hunters & Collectors. Since Hunters & Collectors called it quits in '98, Seymour has taken his solo career in a more acoustic direction.

In 2008, Seymour released The Closest Living Thing a collection of acoustic versions of H&C songs for all of those nostalgic for the music of that era of Seymour's career.

The song selection is exceptional. While all of the fan favorites are included, Seymour also included some more obscure and deeper H&C album cuts like Titanic and True Believers from Juggernaut and What's a Few Men from Fate.

While the "horns of contempt" are conspicuously absent the more bare-boned acoustic arrangements of the classic "Hunnas" repertoire allow the listener to focus more on Seymour's vocal and songwriting talents. The acoustic arrangements give the songs a new freshness giving the listener not only a reminder of what he or she enjoyed about the original versions but also an opportunity to hear all of these songs for the first time all over again.

Some of the highlights include Talking to a Stranger which features exceptional vocal harmonies, Titanic which Seymour gives a unique spoken-word delivery to the verses and sings the choruses, Everything's On Fire which features some beautiful acoustic guitar playing, and What's a Few Men stripped to the bare essentials making the lyrics a bit more emotionally charged than they were in the original version playing an exceptional tribute to the fallen ANZAC soldiers of the Battle of Galipoli.

All in all, with this collection Seymour blows the dust off the better material of Hunters & Collectors 17 years and gives it new life. Whether your new to Hunters & Collectors and/or Seymour's music or a long time fan this album is a welcome addition to any music collection.

Related Links
Hunters & Collectors (wikipedia)
Mark Seymour (wikipedia)
Mark Seymour (personal website)
Human Frailty (Hunters & Collectors Official Website)
Other Hunters & Collectors Reviews
Interview with Nick & Mark Seymour from the H&C website (Mark's brother, Nick, is a member of Crowded House)

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