Grant Hart, The Argument

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 07.24.13 in Reviews
His sharpest and most sprawling work since the mid ’80s

Sometimes you have to go away for a while in order to sound like you haven’t gone anywhere. Grant Hart hasn’t been the most prolific recording artists since the demise of Hüsker Dü — only five full solo albums (plus two with his band Nova Mob) since 1987. But at 74 minutes, The Argument is a big mouthful, his most sprawling work since the mid ’80s — and his sharpest. Hart has always written big melodies and sharp lyrics, and the wallop of songs like the rockabilly-tinged “Letting Me Out” (“You can let more in by letting me out”) and the “Sea of Love”-channeling “So Far From Heaven” (“Are you one of those angels who attempted to rebel?/ You waged a war in heaven, were defeated, and you fell/ Are you one of those angels who went all the way to hell?”), complete with whistle solo, is both no surprise and entirely welcome. His voice has taken on a David Bowie tint, and the album is based loosely on Paradise Lost, but the triumph of The Argument is Hart’s alone.