WILL HOGE > The Wreckage

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Will Hoge Cover Art

WILL HOGE

The Wreckage

(RYKODISC)

[Rating: 3.5 stars]

Will Hoge’s aptly titled The Wreckage was born after the Nashville rock and roller was sidelined by an auto accident in 2008. With free time to recover and ruminate, Hoge bows a melodic collection with lyrics that lean more toward introspection than his previous work. Eleven tightly crafted songs retain the artist’s self-assured, Southern swagger, but there is a thread of regret that lives in these cuts. The focus is largely on failing relationships, or ones already beyond repair (“Where Do We Go from Down” and “Too Late Too Soon”). “The Wreckage” sounds like an intimate soul conversation. It’s a gut-check assessment: “Why do I keep holding on when everything is wrong?” wrapped in the drone of an acoustic guitar. “Favorite Waste of Time” bites with bitterness and searing kiss-off electric guitar parts. The favorite is bound to be the road-trip ready, Tom Petty-influenced “Highway Wings.” It features layered harmonies, hooky “ah, ah, ahs,” and a catchy electric riff that carries the song. Autobiographical tune “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” paints a vivid picture of the artist. “Way back on a radio dial/ a fire got lit in a bright-eyed child/ every note just wrapped around his soul/ from steel guitar to Memphis all the way to rock and roll…” Hoge’s own unfortunate wreckage resulted in—to filch a line from the artist’s repertoire—some “sweet soul music.”

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