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Beneath This Gruff Exterior

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (175 ratings)

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Beneath This Gruff Exterior album cover
01
Uncommon Connection
4:11
$0.49
02
How Bad's the Coffee
3:56
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03
The Nagging Dark
3:15
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04
My Baby Blue
4:35
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05
My Dog and Me
3:15
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06
Almost Fed Up With the Blues
4:36
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07
Circle Back
4:30
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08
Window on the World
3:36
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09
Missing Pieces
4:06
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10
Fly Back Home
4:44
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11
The Last Time
4:53
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12
The Most Unoriginal Sin
4:15
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 12   Total Length: 49:52

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Write a Review 4 Member Reviews

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Goner

DJRon

Hiatt has been at his best with The Goners. This record has inspired writing, playing and singing.

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One Of My All-Time Favorites

HeartlandJon

John Hiatt is a legend, and this is one of his best albums. Harder rocking than some of his other offerings, and it works on every level. Great lyrics, incredible guitar work by Sonny Landreth - it's absolutely a "must own".

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Very solid

varnish

This is a great introductory Hiatt album, with good tunes throughout. There's basically not a bad track on the album, but be sure to check out How Bad's the Coffee, Circle Back, and My Dog and Me. If I didn't already own this one, I'd certainly have downloaded it. Check this one out.

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Fantastic

Dinosaur

Great Hiatt tunes, download it all. I'd pay double the retail cost, so the eMusic rate is a steal. I'd list all the tracks, and what's great about them, but that would just be a list of ALL the tracks, and what's GREAT about them. I love Uncommon Connection, Circle Back, Fly Back Home, My Dog and Me - it's all good.

They Say All Music Guide

While Beneath This Gruff Exterior is credited to John Hiatt & the Goners, a more appropriate designation might be “John Hiatt and Sonny Landreth” — hotshot guitarist Landreth, who has held down a longtime on-and-off tenure in Hiatt’s road band, spreads his licks over every nook and cranny of this album, so much so that his guitar spends about as much time in the spotlight as Mr. Hiatt himself. With the guitars turned up and Hiatt willing to push the growl of his voice to the limit, Beneath This Gruff Exterior finds Hiatt in stripped-down and rockin’ form, much more so than on the albums which immediately preceded it. The production (by Don Smith with Hiatt and the band) is simple and straightforward, sounding loose and live, with Hiatt willing to let a few minor vocal glitches slip into the final mix. In short, this is a John Hiatt rock & roll album, which means his more serious songs are put on hold and stuff like “How Bad’s the Coffee” and “Almost Fed Up With the Blues” find their way onto disc. But as has long been the case, Hiatt’s lighter stuff still packs more emotional heft than most songwriters you could mention (especially on “Missing Pieces” and “The Most Unoriginal Sin”), and if his voice sounds as if it’s starting to fray a tiny bit, he can still belt it out pretty convincingly for a guy who’s been making records since 1974. The vast majority of Hiatt’s albums fall into one of two categories — brilliant and real good. Beneath This Gruff Exterior falls into the latter file, which means it isn’t a revelation like Two Bit Monsters or Bring the Family, but it’s got good songs sang by a great songwriter, and played by a rockin’ little band with a real fine guitarist up front, and if that’s not what you’re looking for, you’re probably not much on Hiatt anyway. – Mark Deming

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