Micah P Hinson
Micah P Hinson and the Opera Circuit
If there aren't enough new Tom Waits albums released for you in any one year, Micah P Hinson has alleviated that problem. 2004's Gospel of Progress album was critically acclaimed, even if it didn't sell well. But those who listened to the songs, written during prison time that resulted from a doomed love affair, fell deeply in love with this Texan's Waits (or Chris Rea)-like voice and dramatic arrangements. The Opera Circuit surpasses that debut in every direction, including folk rhythms from Ireland and Russia to bolster the aural landscape - many songs are lushly arranged with violin and cello, or complemented with brass (think Martin Stephenson). This is a rich, deep album - like the best leather shoes, it immediately impresses, but with every listen it becomes deeply, personally, irreplaceable. If you're happy to have your singer-songwriters be more Sufjan Stevens and Bright Eyes than Katie Melua, there is no way you could also not like this grown-up album.