James Hill Man with a Love Song

Google "James Hill" and you will find YouTube videos of him slashing the Super Mario Brothers theme song on the ukulele and one of the top comments is from a kid who claims that he's "a beast" and that "he came to school today and played the ukulele with chopsticks." Interesting. Throw Hill's musical talents in with his heartbreaking poetics, such as "but you can't trust a man with a love song/you don't know how many lips that tune's been on" and what you have is Hill's first debut album, the stellar (and aptly named) Man with a Love Song. The disc is chock full of music ― 14 tracks, with each one over four minutes long ― but every minute is rock solid pop, ukulele-based music. The album in its entirety is reminiscent of the Magnetic Fields' classic 69 Love Songs, with a bluegrass bent. Standout tracks include "The Satisfactory Waltz," a melancholy song about an absolutely average love affair, and "Voodoo Forever, Aloha Pt. 1," which could have been the theme song to Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Also, props to Hill for including an entire track comprised of beat poetry ("Soap and Water"). Man with a Love Song is a fantastic album from a man who makes songwriting seem effortless. (True North)