MICAH P. HINSON [I]AND THE OPERA CIRCUIT[/I] REVIEW

On his third album, Texan singer-songwriter Hinson continues to travel those long, lonesome byways and pass on the melancholy tales that he finds there, in a raw, scraped voice heavy with gravitas. Themes of hope, bitterness, loss and regret swirl against a musical backing that likes to throw curve balls at you; a burst of up-tempo picking that opens one song momentarily lulls you into thinking the mood’s changed, until you notice that Hinson’s singing “I’m digging a grave in the moonlight” in an all-too-cheerful fashion. From the quiet acoustic guitar on the dreamy “Drift Off to Sleep” to the swinging horns on “Letter From Huntsville,” this is an album of melodic contrasts that maintains a somber feel throughout, yet, happily for the listener, it never fully gives in to despair.

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