A new song from the former Husker Du vocalist, and a strong review of his new CD The Argument.
Sprawled across 20 songs, The Argument is a concept album as ambitious as Hüsker Dü’s 1984 opus Zen Arcade. Here, though, Hart taps into one of the most threadbare sources of material, John Milton’s Paradise Lost. But Hart tackles Milton’s tale of man’s tragic fall from grace with an inversely proportionate amount of triumph. Songs like “Morningstar” and “Underneath The Apple Tree” frame Satan as, alternately, a hypnotic Pied Piper of chantlike hooks and a sly, Rudy Vallée-esque crooner. Singing in character, Hart lends his eroded voice—a more cracked, more careworn, yet more versatile instrument than it once was—to the vast, theatrical scope of his narrative, never once losing an air of brittle intimacy.