Paste Records


Doug Hoekstra disc.jpg (59800 bytes)

  Just like always, one of the best albums of the year comes quietly and without fanfare. Stripped down to the bare essentials, Doug Hoekstra’s new disc cuts right to the essence of the songs. Deep, sometimes dark thoughts are softened with hazy, dreamy melodies and are balanced with an unfettered romanticism. Somehow, Hoekstra finds a way to softly and insistently discuss love, survival and belief without ever coming across as sappy or unrealistic. The vocals are whispered over the acoustic guitars and electric pianos like Nick Drake or Roger Waters before he got all cynical. “Theresa” evokes Lou Reed…if Lou could sing. In this one, the pretty melody hides a story of child prostitution and black market babies. It’s a dichotomy that shouldn’t work. It does and it does it beautifully. The album closes with a sweet ode that sums up the spirit of the record. “Waiting” is a tribute to the impending birth of Hoekstra’s child. This is what kept him in his home studio and away from collaborators. This is what makes the album so real, so bittersweet and so relatable. This is one man’s universal heart in all its fragile, imperfect glory captured on disc. (P.O. Box 1606 Decatur, GA 30031)

Chris McKay /