Wednesday 16 April 2014

West Coast Hip Hop is Not for Me

This song is a rite of passage about discovering Hefner at the Reading Festival in 2001. It's sweetly sardonic - "I wanted to hear I Took Her Love For Granted/Not some genre that I hadn't grasped yet" - with a country swing and a hit single's heartbeat.

I saw The Man Who Loves You (well, I booked them, on Darren Hayman's suggestion) at the Hangover Lounge 3 years ago. West Coast Hip Hop was obviously their (or him, as it was then) best song. It's even better now, bigger and fuller and richer, with a full band.

There's an album which proclaims its influences in its titles (Edwyn and Baby, You're A Richman) but the namecheck of Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee in the bluegrass-tinged Walking Song is more telling.

They might lean heavily on their influences at times - they do take their name from a Wilco song - but there's a lot here of their own, not least one of the year's best pop songs, to love.

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