The musical statement that is Rant
includes textures and ideas that pick up where Brain Capers
by Mott the Hoople
left off. "Still Love Rock and Roll" ignites this set; it rocks with an authority that "All the Way From Memphis" only hinted at. As Dion DiMucci
's Shu Bop
album redefined the position of a '60s artist and delivered the goods, Hunter
reveals a '70s artist refining his philosophy. Rant he does, with eloquence and a new fire. Every track works, entertaining and enlightening, taking the listener through curves and turns, reaching the zenith in track ten, "Ripoff." From the "that's all you've got to live for" lyric to the song title itself, this song is a perfect pop tune, full of anger, passion, slashing guitar sounds, a condescending vocal, and hooks that are real magnetic grabbers. With production that is absolutely topnotch, Hunter
bids adieu to his homeland. Although "Ripoff" is guaranteed to keep "Sir" from being added to Hunter
's name, he should still be knighted for delivering a kick-in-the-pants rock & roll song that every car radio should be blasting. The Rolling Stones
haven't injected this much majesty into a single tune, let alone an album, in over a decade. R.E.M.
could learn a thing or two from "Knees of My Heart"; it has the jangle jangle guitar, but where R.E.M.
seems stuck in some past groove, Hunter
utilizes that Nick Lowe
melancholic musical essay to great and satisfying effect. This album smartly moves sounds from guitar to keys, shifting moods, making a grand musical statement. "No One" is Hunter
delivering a ballad with drive. This isn't "Ships," his Barry Manilow
hit, nor is it Mad Shadows
' pre-"All the Young Dudes" composition "You Are One of Us"; this has flavors of early British pop, guitar sounds from the George Harrison
textbook, and a meaningful vocal from this rock & roll troubadour. Rant
is a record that transcends so much of what is going on right now in music, a record that is much too good for radio today. The Columbia/Legacy compilation Once Bitten Twice Shy
delivered 38 Ian Hunter
solo titles in the year 2000, giving the world a clear picture of his post-Hoople
work and paving the way for this sensational recording.