Ian Hunter

Fingers Crossed

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As he closes in on his 80th birthday, Ian Hunter exists on a plane of his own. Younger than Jerry Lee Lewis by four years and older than Bob Dylan by two, Hunter resists the siren call of nostalgia on 2016's Fingers Crossed, but he also never pretends he's younger than his years. Where 2007's Shrunken Heads kicked against the pricks, Fingers Crossed feels settled even when the tempo starts to quicken. Maybe Hunter is a little slower and softer than he was even as a 60-year-old, but he's still a rebel, not least in how he's still striving to engage with new music. Make no mistake, Hunter isn't attempting to connect with the modern world -- quite frankly, it sounds like he hasn't heard an album since 1978 -- but his faith in his form gives the lean rock & roll of Fingers Crossed energy. Maybe the kicks aren't so high, but Hunter works within his limits, rocking just hard enough to seem vital and, best of all, his songs remain a thing of wonder: careful and clever, the work of a singer/songwriter who values idiosyncrasy over eccentricity.

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