steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Harold Hill

Self-titled CD

Grand Design Music

Genres: new country, Nashville

Grand Design
9 Music Square South #174
Nashville, TN 37203

Sep 9 - 15 2002

Paul Gleason vs. Harold Hill (inset)

What the heck? How is it that Harold looks like Paul Gleason (à la "The Breakfast Club") on the front cover of this release, yet looks like a standard Nashville dude on the insert photos? And then how come he looks much different from both of them in the mugshot that accompanies his biography? Well, the only plausible solution is that Harold Hill is really three different men in one, each one showing his face at different times. Kind of like the Incredible Hulk, minus the greenness and the huge muscles. There's good-natured Harold Hill, who gives to charities and greets everyone on the street. There's the dark, evil Harold Hill, who sneers at children and plots evil plans of world domination. And then, of course, there's musical Harold Hill, who composes PC country songs and plays them to his legions of fans.

This album is the creation of musical Harold Hill, who, at one of his less creative moments, composed eleven songs that sound exactly the same and are called things like "Jump On It", "Cowboy Up", "She Just Started Liking Cheatin' Songs", and "Little Cowgirl Goodnight."  They are all just like the stuff you hear playing in WalMarts and Canadian Tires - whiny songs pumped full of overdone country clichés and boring guitars.

It ain't my idea of fun, though I guess I'm no real cowboy. Perhaps Buffalo Bill Cody would approve, though I bet this would appeal more to the programmers of those "new country" radio stations that every district has one of. Oh yeah, and fans of that Garth Brooks guy may want to give him a shot.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 38 min 29 sec; 11 tracks; distributed by the band; released 2002]