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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 60 - 09/02/01

William Hut
Road Star Doolittle
Rec90/EMI

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 e-mail address

You may also want to check out our William Hut articles/reviews: Scarlet, Versus the end of Fashion Park.

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