In a year that tossed accolades at the geriatric set, further lionizing the likes of Neil, Bruce, Van, and (that charlatan of charlatans) Dylan, the one old guy who truly delivered has been roundly ignored. Hunter is over 70 years old, and here he’s put out the album I would’ve hoped the Stones to make as a follow-up to Exile. Profound, pissed off, and still plugged in to the r’n’r source, he also benefits from having an actual touring band rather than an assemblage of session musos. They don’t simply back him up, they step on his toes and elbow for space. Hunter’s Achilles Heel remains his penchant for the same tune-challenged ballad he’s been writing since “Trudy’s Song” derailed The Hoople (although his apparent insistence on hideous album covers is perhaps an even bigger weakness), but he keeps those moments down to a minimum, instead concentrating on the kind of surging rockers he’d mostly abandoned after Mick Ronson tragically skipped out on his mortal coil. Easily his best since ’78.
Ian Hunter & the Rant Band on Amazon