Picks and Pans Review: Slow Turning

updated 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

John Hiatt

"She came on to him like a slow moving cold front/ His beer was warmer than the look in her eye/ She sat on a stool, he said, 'What do you want?'/ She said, 'Give me a love that don't freeze up inside.' " In the grit of his voice, the urgency of his rhythms and the evocative details of his lyrics, Hiatt ranks with Springsteen and Mellencamp, as he suggested in his 1987 breakthrough album, Bring the Family, and confirms here. Like Mellencamp, Hiatt, 36, was born in Indiana. He has been around, having recorded his first major-label album in 1974. This record is rough-edged country blues, bolstered by Hiatt's intense, John Fogerty-like vocals and his own touring band, the Goners: drummer Ken Blevins, guitarist Sonny Landreth and bassist David Ranson. It doesn't hurt, either, that Hiatt has a sense of humor. His tune Tennessee Plates is about a man and woman who sneak into Elvis' garage at Graceland and steal a Cadillac: "She saw him singin' once, when she was 17 / And ever since that day she's been livin' in between/ I was never king of nothin' but this wild weekend/ Anyway he wouldn't care, hell, he gave 'em to his friends." (A&M)

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