Same Old Man (New West)
Mixing the occasional saccharine-sweet generalization ("my heart burns cherry red for you") with picture-painting detail ("now you're feeding me fabulous Chinese takeout on the dampened bed sheets"), Hiatt rides the thematic line between the give/take, push/pull, fuck/fight nature of adult relationships.
"On With You" borrows its murky drive from "All Along the Watchtower," and "Hurt My Baby" slowly burns like a late-era Johnny Cash dirge; but there are also plenty of clever Randy Newman-leaning swooners ("Our Time") and some Nick Lowe-ish sophisticated sing-a-longs ("What Love Can Do").
The real standout is the “remember when” opener, "Old Days." Like listening to your favorite grandfather spin a yarn after a few cold ones—if your grandfather had opened for the likes of John Lee Hooker—it's a reminder that buddy tales often make for more interesting fodder than sweetheart stories.
The heavy nostalgic bent of “Old Days” trembles like the passing between summer and autumn, a time for reflection with Hiatt's ever-earnest acoustic strummers and unmistakable molasses-in-the-throat growl. The album is a charming work of reconciliation and acceptance of growing up, not old.