Release Date: Jul 21, 2009
Record label: New West
Ian Hunter sounded younger than his years on 2007's Shrunken Heads, but on its 2009 sequel, Man Overboard, he shows signs of age in his weathered rasp as well as the album's slower tempos and greater emphasis on ragged acoustic arrangement. Older doesn't necessarily mean any less vigorous, though, at least not in Hunter's case. He writes and sings like a man who thinks he might have seen it all but isn't quite sure, so he keeps going, turning out tunes that feel familiar in form but fresh in substance.
It’s been a pretty good year to be a rock ‘n’ roll survivor, what with enjoyable releases from Bob Dylan (age 68), Levon Helm (69), and almost-sexagenarians Bruce Springsteen (59) and the New York Dolls’ David Johansen (also 59). Yes, they’re all taking well-deserved victory laps, but damned if they’re not all still-vital artists pushing themselves artistically. To that list, let’s also add one-time Young Dude and former Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter, back after 2007’s excellent Shrunken Heads, with Man Overboard.