Regret is as native to the human soul as hope, it’s the leavings of will and choice. This is the dark and fertile soil Larry Hooper tills on his new e.p. Opening with “Rehearsed Alibis”, the sort of dirge Townes Van Zandt excelled at, this is an efficient recording that cuts right to the quick. “I Was Wrong” is steady, heartfelt number about plain spoken regret, a man bearing up to the mistakes he made and love he lost. “Daydreams” finds the singer plugging ahead through doubt and tough times.
Clean, sympathetic production aids Hooper in getting across his words without any distracting frippery, all that would be beside the point. These songs are about swimming upstream, and Hooper plays with the conviction of a man swimming upstream, or even better, of Matt Saracen pulling off another win for the Dillon Panthers with nothing but heart and hard work.
While the songs all touch on regret, doubt, and choice, there’s enough range in subject matter to keep this from becoming a monochrome affair. In fact, one of the reasons I enjoy e.p.’s is that they afford an artist the perfect amount of space to explore all the facets of a mood or idea without getting draggy. Hooper has shown his range before in his full-length album “From Here To The Stars,” which includes some really nice love songs and perhaps the best rejoinder to the Westboro Baptist Church put to tape. Like Matt Saracen in the preceding paragraph though, this e.p. seems to be about focusing in on some fundamentals, and like Matt Saracen, it pulls in a win.