Hayden In Field & Town

HaydenIn Field & Town
It only takes a couple of bars for even the casual Hayden fan to notice that the singer-songwriter is exploring new pastures. On his fifth full-length disc, Hayden has all but tossed aside his trademark "acoustic guitar and harmonica” sound in order to explore different musical terrain. The man has certainly meandered and experimented some on previous outings, but In Field & Town seems like a conscious effort to break his own Neil Young-inspired mould. The frequent inclusion of snare drums, electric guitars, synthesisers and jaunty piano parts occasionally augment Hayden’s consistently excellent songwriting; it’s telling, however, that the album’s standout track is "Weight of the World,” which is one minute and 43 seconds of bare-bones acoustic bliss. That being said, it would be very difficult for Hayden to ever alienate his fan base. The man could delve into electro-funk and his admirers would nary bat an adoring eyelash, as long as said electro-funk was delivered with his trademark heartbreaking earnestness. (Hardwood/Universal)