Dirk Hamilton

Meet Me at the Crux

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Dirk Hamilton's first recording for Elektra Records, Meet Me at the Crux, expands on the promise of his sporadically brilliant first two releases. This time out, with a core band providing solid backing throughout, Hamilton achieves a cohesive sound to support his material, which -- as always -- can be biting, sensitive, strange, and funny. Tales of love, culture, and society gone awry, as well as the woes of the unsung artist, had long been a staple of the '70s singer/songwriter, but Hamilton has always had the ability to bring something new to these well-worn subjects. He also possesses a soulful edge, reminiscent of Van Morrison, in his acoustic-based mix of folk, pop, rock, and R&B, which also distinguishes him from the pack. This includes instrumental, melodic, and rhythmic hooks that were scarce on his ABC work, but at the same time, the wit and insight that made the best parts of these records so special is still there. Tighter songs and arrangements also give Hamilton the freedom -- like Morrison -- to play with the words, vocally tugging and stretching them, pushing his voice and lyrics to the limit. Cuts such as the melancholy "Billboard on the Moon," the slightly twisted title track, and the closer "Every Inch a Moon" are the cream of an album filled with highlights. Though it failed to do much commercially and has been deleted for years, Meet Me at the Crux is among the finest the '70s singer/songwriter genre has to offer, and is worth looking for.

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