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John Hiatt’s Recovery Tetralogy Of Albums Part 2: Slow Turning!

Hello all and welcome to a NEW Daily Blog series from me… TFG1Mike! The idea here is for me to write something, anything, once a day for 365 days. From January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. In my 224th entry,  Well this is something I never thought I’d be diving into, but here we go! Join me TFG1Mike as I make my way through John Hiatt’s Recovery Tetralogy of albums!

Other than the title track song Slow Turning, I’d never heard any of these songs! OK not true, when I was editing for Perfectly Good Podcast I had heard a few, but in general this album is brand new to me…. and not to bury the lead, but I really dug it!!!! For me I found Slow Turning (the song) In 2002 when it played in The Disney Film The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid! I’ve loved this film (for what it is) And the John Hiatt song ever since! Here’s the trailer to the film! You can watch the video/listen to the song here! There were two others that I’d heard, but only in passing, they were Tennessee Plates, and Feels Like Rain.. Again in editing PGP when I was doing that. I enjoyed them, but again I knew I was gonna be doing this quartet of album reviews, so I didn’t get too far into those songs. So those were the only songs I’d heard off of this album, and going into a John Hiatt album almost deaf (blind) is an interesting experience!

HUGE THANKS TO JESSE JACKSON AND SYLVAN GROTH and their NEW John Hiatt From A To Z Podcast PERFECTLY GOOD PODCAST, because without listening to them, I most likely would not be writing up this 4 part series! So I’ve been listening to Slow Turning for about 48-72 hours, but that doesn’t really matter…. Why you might ask? Well you see I’m writing this in the present, and it will be published in the past! I’ve had a much better experience with Slow Turning (the album) than Bring The Family. The songs here flow into each other so much better than the BTF album’s sequencing. I actually love the entire album here, and I don’t think any track juggling is needed. Let’s break it down!

Track List/Review:

Track 1: Drive South – Album starters have to bring you into whatever album it is. John does that so well here. With the guitar licks and drum beats in the beginning. I remember on Part 1 of this series that I mentioned the twang that he uses in his tunes and voice…. That is present here, however the twang tells the story, and it’s a melody that I really love! As far as the lyrics go, I think it’s a fun story, and whilst they are always northbound, it’s a great thing to just roll the windows down, and Drive South! And the way that this first track flows into the second one is a very smooth transition.

Track 2: Trudy And Dave – This one is soooo fun! At least in the way that John is singing it, after reading the lyrics, I’m not so sure. WOW! Yeah, what was I thinking….? YES this is a great tune, but the story of the song is very sad and depressing. Trudy and Dave they’re outta their minds, and they do what they have to in order to survive. That means robbing ATMs! Yikes! Hiatt sings the song as if it’s fun, but wowzers. I do think it flows well into track 3 though!

Track 3: Tennessee Plates – This song feels like a follow up to Trudy and Dave. So I like the sequencing here. However this song is not about the characters from track two. It’s a brand new set of characters. And dang prison pen pals. What a story! So far the first three tracks have been very upbeat which is great, because that hooks you into the album. When that hook is in deep, we then get an Icy Blue Heart!

Track 4: Icy Blue Heart – This feels like Lipstick Sunset from Bring The Family, and that’s not a bad thing. How can anyone melt an Icy Blue Heart? I’m listening to this as I’m writing, and while I like the tune and melody of the song, the lyrics are very sad. I’m trying to find the deeper side of this song as I’ve got it in my ears, and it seems to me that all the male character is trying to do is melt the female character’s icy blue heart…. But if she doesn’t want it to be melted, why go though all that effort? Especially if it’s just in vain.

Track 5: Sometime Other Than Now – I like the opening beats here. The story seems to be all about events taking place other than the moment that’s going on. This isn’t as slow as Icy Blue Heart, but it does continue that trend. I guess we needed a coupla slow songs before the album explodes from track six through track twelve.

From here til the end, I like almost every song, and I think that it’s a great sequencing of tracks!

Track 6: Georgia Rae – This is a song about the man’s daughter. I’m not gonna pick it apart. I love that the story is about Georgia Rae coming into the world of the Hiatt Family, and it’s soooo upbeat! This is definitely one of my favorites off the album. I love the ending too.

Track 7: Ride Along – Another bangin’ tune here! This starts a triple shot of songs that I think is great having the next two songs after this! Ride Along is interesting, and not a love story. How can you go nowhere, yet Ride Along? Listen to find out I guess….. I dig the way this begins, and the way it flows into the next track.

Track 8: Slow Turning – And. Here. We. Go. I LOVE THIS SONG! See above for the links to 2002’s Disney’s The Rookie, and the Hiatt Slow Turning video. Now that I have that out of the way…. I dunno why, but I FRIGGIN’ LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!! It is just something more than your average song from any artist. I listened to just this track for one whole day on repeat, and with every listen… I found myself crying. Don’t ask me why, it just happened.  Plus I rewatched The Rookie during this day long listening. The opening strumming of the guitar into the main back beat of the song gets me every time. The not fade away line is what kills me. I’ll never not enjoy this song. A song that flows very well into the next one.

Track 9: It’ll Come To You – The fade from Slow Turning into this track is amazing. I’ll also say that after all the time I’ve listened to this album, I could be hallucinating here, but I feel that this is the twangiest tune on the album. I love the opening instrumentals, they might be my favorite part of the song. This has a catchy story, chorus, and more. As I said before tracks 7, 8, and 9 flow very well together. Which is the complete opposite of how I felt on Bring The Family with Have A Little Fath. And then we transition into track ten, I think there’s just a tad too much silence between them though.

Track 10: Is Anybody There? – I was surprised how close to this song parts of my life have seemed, even though until now I’d never heard this one. But that question of Is Anybody There… I’ve asked that a lot in my life. YES there have been and continue to be many people in my life, and I’m thankful for all of them. But within this song it has left me still wishing that Karen was still here.

Track 11: Paper Thin – Then we get to this penultimate song, and this kinda feels outta place, but then again it doesn’t. After the smooth ending to track ten, track eleven kicks it back up a notch. Paper Thin is a track that speaks to me just as the previous one did. Sometimes my opinions are very paper thin, cut and dry, and the simplest of opinions. I either like or don’t like something. If I like whatever it is, I give it as much praise as I can, whiteout having too much positive critical thinking going on, and yet if I dislike something, I can give you a million reasons why. I love the melody of this song, and the lyrics are great as well, but the tune is just entrancing me.

Track 12: Feels Like Rain – And an album closer that lulls us to sleep in a good way. What a ballad this is! The ending fade on Paper Thin into the enchanting guitar of Feels Like Rain, it just feels right as a logical transition. This song is mesmerizing, and what a way to close a great album.

Tennessee Plates is my least favorite from this album, but it’s not a bad song in the sequencing. As I mentioned before those first three songs really get you into what the album is. Tracks 4 and 5 are a bit of a mellow out time in the album, and then tracks six through nine are just kick ass type songs for me. High energy and very upbeat when it comes to the music. Track ten also has that mellow out feeling, but it asks a great question, and then we have tracks eleven and twelve… Track eleven is in that upbeat motif that most of Slow Turning has, and then as I’ve said track twelve just mesmerizes you the listener. At least it did to me. It’s a hauntingly great song. In conclusion, as I said about BTF, I’ll say the same thing when it comes to Slow Turning. The album has stories that really make you feel the way the characters in each song feel. That’s the way music should be.

We use the GCRN Universal Ratings System for everything here at The GCRN! <— That link over there describes what each rating definition is for us. And it has half points! I’ve sat here one last time listening to Slow Turning as a whole with my eyes closed and headphones on… to immerse myself in just the music, and after the last three and a half months, I’d give the album as a whole package the following rating:


There ya have it folks! Join me tomorrow August 13, 2023 when I’ll be diving into John Hiatt’s 1990 album Stolen Moments, which I believe is my first ever listen, besides three tracks from it that have already been covered on Jesse and Sylvan’s Perfectly Good Podcast!

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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!

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