The “Memphis Sound” has evolved and changed over the decades, and it’s that very dynamism that keeps rock ‘n’ roll’s birthplace such a continually dynamic city. Jeff Hulett of the band Snowglobe has released a solo disc, making greater use of that sound on the travelogue “Around These Parts.”
“Back in the Day” is a journey through nostalgia through some memories that maybe were better left alone, with a mournful fiddle dirge providing a killer bridge at mid-song. This is followed by the upbeat “Home,” which continues the reverie of the previous song but in a more positive vein.
“This Is the Life” is a lovely love song about keeping in focus the things that are truly important—family, love and joy—with Hulett intoning “This is the life, life, life, life, life, life, life, life” in reaffirmation. “Shoes All Muddy—Tape” is a delightfully strange song, with Hulett spinning a yarn about discovering a tape (remember those?) with hidden voices from the past. It’s a bit simplistic at points during the tune, but it’s a fun journey to take with the songwriter.
Hulett continues the somewhat-bluesy mood on “She Got Gone” and “Trick,” with the latter evincing a rather healthy dose of the Southern sound that is simultaneously celebratory while also a bit downbeat in subject.
“Neutral Milk Hotel” may be the most unusually whimsical song title likely to come out anywhere this year, but give a closer listen to its subject matter or how “we are born in milk” and how sometimes getting back to the basics can be the best balm of all. Hulett ends the disc with “Don’t Wait,” a stern reminder that today is the day to make it happen. Yes, we all have regrets, but don’t live there; live in the now. It’s quite likely the album’s best track.
Notable Tracks: Home, This Is the Life, Shoes All Muddy—Tape, Trick, Neutral Milk Hotel