Ban Hatton’s trajectory is a testament to what good old fashioned work ethic and ambition can produce. The potential that can be tapped into when you apply those attributes can be prolific. It’s not a guarantee that your artistic endeavor will resonate with people but the chances will improve exponentially. Hatton’s latest third release Over Too Easy is his best effort to date and clearly he found his stride.
This time around Hatton worked with a full band and a producer. He went through the right steps by recording and mixing the songs in a reputable studio and then sending the mixes to a mastering engineer. There is nothing wrong with complete DIY productions but as I’ve seen time and time again finding the right professionals and creating a team who understand the artist's vision is still an indispensable part in making an album that will go perhaps beyond your expectations.
The album is a mix of styles - alt-country, americana and folk. I would say the music fits into the zeitgeist of artists like Ryan Adams, Sturgill Simpson and other like-minded artists. The album opens with “Homeward Bound” which is pretty straightforward alt-country with distorted guitar and catchy melodies. The song spews with electric emotion.
I can’t help it but love a well played laptop steel guitar like I heard on “Sweet Virginia.” On that note I also love a mix of nostalgia, hope and reflection that is displayed on “I Can’t See.” “Backed by the River” is another winner with warm acoustic instrumentation that pulls at your heartstrings. ”Far Enough” was a single worthy kind of track but I preferred the more country infused “Punch It.”
As the album progresses it continues to deliver with “Brothers,” “Chester” and “Wish I Had the Sense.” He closes with “Eight Hours” which wraps you in sweet tones from an organ and an emotionally resonant vocal performance.
There you have it. Hatton unlocked some of the potential that was brewing inside of him. Over Too Easy is a cohesive, well conceived album that I can give two thumbs up. Highly recommended.
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