Tim Hardin

Suite for Susan Moore and Damion: We Are One, One, All in One

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Hardin's first album for Columbia was a darker, more subdued, and altogether stranger affair than the relatively accessible material he had recorded for Verve just two or three years previously. Even at the peak of his popularity, Hardin was not always the most straightforward of songwriters, and Suite for Susan Moore took a turn toward the oblique. The "songs," actually running together into a loose suite, were divided into the mysteriously titled sections "Implication I," "Implication II," "Implication III," and "End of Implication." Often they sounded like an outpouring of stream-of-consciousness romantic emotions and thoughts, rather than compositions deliberately constructed for ease of listener comprehension. Some of the cuts had foggy, druggy textures with slow tempos, tremeloed guitars, and watery electric keyboards; not lethargic or laid-back, but the kind of stuff you're always tempted to boost the volume on to make it easier to grasp. Even the folkier and more upbeat tunes had a casual and distended air; Hardin added to the strangeness by occasionally reciting somber poetry, both unaccompanied and to meandering, jazzy instrumental backing. The drowsy mood, both affectionate and vulnerable, is more important than the message on this haunting album. That means it's not recommended as the first Hardin recording for neophytes, but it is recommended to those who already like Hardin and are up for something more obtuse than his early records.

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