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Andrew Bird Fionn Regan Iron & Wine

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Solo Male Artist Folk: Fingerstyle Folk: Progressive Folk Pop: Chamber Pop Rock: Acoustic

By Location
United States - United States United States - Illinois

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Carl Hauck

"Not only is Carl Hauck a guitarist and songwriter, he is also a poet. On Counter Intelligence, his third release, he digs into topics such as politics, war, and coming of age, and sings about them with a soft voice that's not much above a whisper. The entire album is a 'counterintelligence operation,' according to the liner notes, a memorandum to the FBI with enough words blacked out to make it undecipherable. But despite the title theme, the album doesn't listen like a concept album – Hauck's not out to overpower listeners with an agenda. Primarily, the album is beautiful and delicate, recorded in a dorm room at the University of Illinois and 'Karen's bedroom.' It's got the warmth and intimacy of Iron and Wine, but Hauck's not afraid to draw the songs out a bit. The album revolves around the 10-minute 'Rebel,' a narrative about a soldier experiencing deaths in many forms. Hauck's storytelling takes the form of a Bright Eyes tune: talking with few words, revealing insight in a line. 'Rebel' also has that jolt of energy that some of the other songs have, and some lack. Compared with his previous two releases, Carl Hauck (2004) and Something to Laugh About (2005), Counter Intelligence is an exciting step forward. Whereas his first release was primarily vocals and guitar, and his second a minimalistic, electronic-acoustic experiment, Counter Intelligence incorporates an assembly of instruments and backing vocals into structured songs, resulting in an overall deeper, fuller sound. Hauck's voice itself is stronger, freer, and more emotional, bringing the songs to life. Listening to the violin on 'Selfish Duet' is – like the entire album – a painkiller for the soul. If Hauck isn't up-and-coming, he'll be sorely overlooked." - Lisa Zyga, Innocent Words Magazine - June/July 2008 - Issue 29

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