There's an almost overwhelming urge to resort to the usual country stereotypes before a note has been played on this, the fourth album from Texan Micah P. Hinson. Taking into account his history of drug addiction, homelessness and jail and factoring in a cursory glance at song titles that include Dyin' Alone and Tell Me It Ain't So, it's hard not to imagine getting your job back, your woman coming home and your dog coming back to life if this record was played backwards.
Yet, be that as it may, Hinson's fourth album finds itself occupying that overcast hinterland so favoured by those who live their lives in black while simultaneously delivering country music that remains heartfelt and well out of the reach of parody. That's partly down to Hinson's baritone voice; rich and sonorous, it carries a gravitas beyond parody. It isn't just lived-in, the squatters have been there while the scavengers have helped themselves to the fixtures and fittings.
The shimmering guitars of You Will Find Me evoke deserts and wide open spaces as elsewhere When We Embraced's pithy vernacular sees Hinson painting from a palette that harks to a bygone age and herein lies Hinson's true skill - his ability to remain convincing throughout and keeping the clichés well at bay.
Most importantly, the thing that also counts heavily in Hinson's favour is the manner in which this release will appeal to both Americana's long-time observers and the casual listener. This is the real deal but one that's unashamedly inclusive. --Julian Marszalek
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