I’m not sure how it took me this long to hear about Will Hoge and I’m even less sure why, in all this time, not a single one of you bastards emailed me a note telling me to check him out. Well, I may be late to the party, but with his seventh release I finally stumbled upon Mr. Will Hoge and I’m loving it.
I can’t speak for any of Will’s other albums as I’ve not listened to any of them (yet), but while Number Seven may be lucky in theory, for the bulk of the characters on this album it’s anything but. On “American Dream” Will provides a voice for the beggar on the corner you try to ignore when you get caught by the light and does so in a matter-of-fact unflinching/patronizing manner. Similarly, he attacks the issue of illegal immigration on “The Illegal Line” with the same unflinching eye.
Really, I think that’s my favorite thing about this album. Lyrically, it’s real and it never compromises on that “realness” for the sake of a better flowing/more poetic line, whether it be on the subject of homelessness, illegal immigration or just waking up and realizing that even on your best day you’re just mediocre.
Number Seven is one of those albums that ends with me wanting more. I want the outtakes that didn’t make the cd. I want the demos for the songs that did. My only regret is that I didn’t hear this album earlier as it, undoubtedly, would have been a Top 5 in my year end list. Only thing I have left for it this late in the game is to tell y’all about it and to crown it Essential Listening.