Home Read Classic Album Review: Van Hunt | Van Hunt

Classic Album Review: Van Hunt | Van Hunt

The lovelorn singer-songwriter drifts from one dysfunctional coupling to the next.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Van Hunt is not like all the other guys.

Oh sure, with his silky mack-daddy vocals and slinky boudoir-soul grooves, he seems like just another neo-soul pimpateer. Until you get past first impressions and cock an ear to what he actually has to say, that is. “I’m already insane / I’m already in pain,” Van the (other) man confesses on the opening track of his self-titled debut disc — not exactly your typical pickup line, but definitely a couplet that sets the lyrical tone for the rest of this disc. Striking a pose between a midnight confession and a therapy session, the needy vocalist drifts defeatedly from one dysfunctional coupling to another, as chronicled in tracks like Hello, Goodbye, Anything (To Get Your Attention) and the subtle Down Here in Hell (With You). But even as he makes a play for sympathy, he’s seducing you with his earthy melodies, stylish grooves and tenderly sincere delivery. And damned if it doesn’t work like a charm. After all, with lyrics like “What would I do if we were perfect? / Where would I go for disappointment?” Van may not be able to keep a gal. But he clearly seems to have no trouble getting them.