Grant Hart Good News For Modern Man

With his fourth solo album, former Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart's conversion to the latter day Brian Wilson appears to be complete. Good News... is 11 tracks of big, thick, wet pop songs that take full advantage of the benefits that studio tracking, overdubs and lush orchestral arrangements bring. If you have any doubts at all about Hart's Wilson fixation, just throw on songs like "Nobody Rides for Free" or "Run Run Run to the Centre Pompidou," which feature multi-part harmonies and Dick Dale rhythms. Even on less Beach Boys-inspired tracks like "A Letter from Anne Marie" or "Remains to be Seen," Hart's punky past is replaced by his apparent desire to make "big" music (Phil Spector's Wall of Sound big). About the only connection to his musical past can be heard on "In a Cold House" or "Seka Knows," but even then you have to strain to hear it. Somehow the fact that there's not much reminiscent of his past doesn't seem to matter. He's crafted a collection of songs that can stand on their own exclusive of his past accomplishments. And that's probably the highest compliment you can pay to a person who was a member of a band as influential as Hüsker Dü. (Koch)