Norway - Full Moon 60 - 09/02/01
Road Star Doolittle
William Hut (or Willy Marhaug) is having a short break from his Poor Rich Ones,
releasing his first solo effort Road Star Doolittle. Earlier this summer the lovely
single Scarlet showed what was to come. And I must say the
expectations is fulfilled. When 2001 is to be summed up Road Star Doolittle will be one
of this year's strongest Norwegian pop-rock albums.
Mr. Hut keeps hanging out in the quiet streets of rock. Melancholic pop of the
low-voiced kind. Sneaky feelings. Where 'fragile' is the keyword, but still showing powerfulness.
It's not hard to tell he's been inspired by (one of) his favorite bands, R.E.M.. The spirit of
Road Star Doolittle is Automatic For The People era R.E.M., whitout sounding like
he's been trying to copy them. Check Dulcinea f.i., and you'll hear glimpses of the
Georgians. The aforementioned Scarlet opens the album, followed by another of the tracks
off the single, the slower and slightly 'greyer' Belonging. Most songs are slow and
quiet (think Mazzy Star), but when you realise this album was supposed to be of laidback
moods, you'll get into the right mode.
The Great Gospel is pure magic, and my definite fave song off the album. Ambitious.
Proud. With blistering vocals. The instrumental Bangalore Homecoming Queen is another
yummy-goody, sounding like it could've been a sparring match between Grandaddy and Mercury Rev.
William has written 10 of the 11 songs (or is Pluto by Pluto of Sister Sonny?), the last
is a cover of Wood Floors by Lisa Germano (off her 1998 album Slide). I still get
goosebumps when recalling the Lisa Germano concert at the Knitting Factory, NYC, some 3 years
back. Maybe Lisa and William co-operating could be something?
The album closes with a countryish beauty called Country Hut, putting a brilliant end
to an album of great melodic qualities. Don't expect loud rock. Road Star Doolittle is
a moody album, with songs for rainy days. Happy-sad, misty-eyed, hazy-shaded. Soberly and
distinctly played and performed. Visit William's musical hut!
Copyright © 2001 Håvard Oppøyen