Home Read Classic Album Review: Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle | H-Wing

Classic Album Review: Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle | H-Wing

The BNL keyboardist keeps his sense of humour even as he bares his naked soul.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


H-Wing was the hospital ward where Barenaked Ladies keyboard player Kevin Hearn was treated for leukemia in 1998 — and where this solo album was apparently conceived.

Expectedly, the spectre of his brush with mortality haunts many of these 11 songs, which have titles like Death Bed Love Letter and lyrics like, “In the hospital, waiting for days to move along … I just lay there, waiting to turn into Mr. Hyde.” OK, so it ain’t Maroon — although it is a lot like Hearn’s delicately sombre hidden track at that disc’s end. Still, H-Wing isn’t just a pity party. These charming slices of homespun pop, voiced in Hearn’s quirky nasal tones, are rendered with plenty of BNL’s easy grace and gentle bounce, and even at their most mopey, couplets such as, “I feel like … A church with a broken bell / Nick Rhodes without his gel,” let you know Hearn is keeping his sense of humour even as he bares his naked soul.