Bruce Hornsby

Hot House

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

From the opening notes of "Spider Fingers," Hot House declares itself a jazzy showcase for Bruce Hornsby's piano skills, continuing further down the path started on Harbor Lights. Leaned more heavily toward the instrumental side of things, the album works better as a whole than as a collection of individual songs. Still, "White Wheeled Limousine" and "Country Doctor" show off Hornsby's gift for story weaving, and "Walk in the Sun" and "The Longest Night" rank among his best tracks. But Hot House is mostly about the overall vibe of the music, with lyrics taking a backseat in many cases. And that's just fine since the always technically proficient Hornsby has surrounded himself with other talented musicians like Béla Fleck, Pat Metheny, and Jimmy Haslip. There's an upbeat, loose feel to even the darker-edged songs, making this his most optimistic release to date. While Hot House is less personal and contains fewer individually memorable tracks than Hornsby's previous albums, it's still a great listen.

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