Greg Hoy

Spouses of the Lowly

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Were the '50s styles apparent on Brooklyn's Hoy's other 2010 album, Rock 'n' Roll, the start of more such records to come? No, apparently, it's on to a bizarro '70s feel-bad chart pop guide on Spouses of the Lonely. Recording by himself again, he’s too hodge-podge. The reverse of Rock 'n' Roll, it begins with the solid thump of its title track, this time like Ray Davies doing "Little Red Riding Hood," but then he channels Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, and Jackson Browne on "Highway 101" -- and the next few aim even lower. Thank Zeus that the second half recovers; the 10cc-ish instrumental "A Letter," the George Thorogood/Bo Diddley romp of "Jesus Son," the folk ditty "Temptation Town," and the "House of the Rising Sun"-like chill of the stand-out title closer finally put Hoy's inspired singing to use. Try this LP in backwards order.

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