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Jack Hues and the Quartet - Collaborations Vol. 3: A Thesis on the Ballad


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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Few who sang along countless times to Wang Chung's 1986 smash hit "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" actually knew who they were singing along with, but it was Jack Hues. Here the former new wave pop star works in a decidedly different vein as he sets to music and sings a selection of poems by Kelvin Corcoran. The mood is jazzy for the subdued "Barbara Allen" where Hues sounds a little Joe Jackson-y at times, but there's a slight hint of Wang Chung in the arrangement of "An Expanse of Water" and it's easy to hear how the song, rocked up a little, could have fit nicely alongside tunes like Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days." Perhaps the most striking cut on the album is "The Truth;" the song teases with a three-minute ambient drone before Hues speaks just a few of Corcoran's words, returning immediately to an ambient fade-out. A Thesis on a Ballad is only a six-song EP, with the dirge-like "Psychopaths," the equally somber "Class War and Sex War" and the quiet reflection of "And So" rounding out the record. Hues' bandmates here are keys player Sam Bailey, bass man Liran Donin and percussionist Mark Holub. For those noticing that this release is the third volume in Hues' collaboration series and wondering how they missed the first two; not to worry. The volumes are being released out of sequence and the first two will hit the streets later this year.

Jack Hues and the Quartet - Collaborations Vol. 3: A Thesis on the Ballad
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