Jeff Hulett – “Rarely Last”

Album Reviews | Mar 10th, 2023

Jeff Hulett - "Rarely Last"
Image used with permission for review purposes

Record Label: Small Batch Records
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Keeping in a Memphis kind of mood, let’s check in with Grind City’s Jeff Hulett and his new one.

On the title track, it’s a bit of a heartbreaker hearing Hulett—his voice modulated electronically in post—sing about being “like a captain without a ship…it’s easy to lose your way” and such other poetic difficulties describing when one’s internal compass has become defective. Things continue in a bit of a downtempo timbre with “Picking Up the Pieces,” in which the narrator can’t even seem to know how he “should” be grieving in the wake of some serious personal losses. It doesn’t get any more optimistic on “End of the World,” which bears some hints of the influence of such artists as Kimya Dawson (listen closely).

“Get It Back” is a definite highlight, and as if Hulett knows this, he changes the key from minor to major at certain parts of the song—as if to signal us that, hey, it’s gonna be OK. The finality becomes somewhat more jovial with “Put a Bow on It,” which features some cool sound effects that might remind you of Zelda (trust me). “Lies” completes the album, which is mostly instrumental but for Hulett occasionally vocalizing about the fibs “they sold you”—it’s always “they.”

Mysterious and unusual work from this so-talented Memphian, but of a piece with his significant output.

Notable Tracks: Get It Back, Rarely Last, End of the World, Picking Up the Pieces
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