Some performers can sound good singing a grocery list, and it turns out John Hiatt is one of them.
“Eggs,” Hiatt warbles on the “Fargo”-esque “Wood Chipper.” ‘’Hamburger meat. Bread. Funyuns.”
Fans hungry for fresh Hiatt will be well satisfied by “Mystic Pinball,” his 21st album. When he’s not contrasting mundane shopping to murder, he offers tuneful observations on addiction, gratitude, faith, doubt and love gone right or (mostly) wrong.
Hiatt gets bluesy on some of the best songs, including the sax-driven “One of These Damn Days” and the ballad “Blues Can’t Even Find Me.” There are also nods to classic rock, from “Sweet Jane” chord changes (”I Just Don’t Know What To Say”) to a “We Are The Champions” beat (”We’re Alright Now”). The acoustic waltz “No Wicked Grin” is sweet without being sentimental.