Exclaim Closest Living Thing Review
A Canadian review of Mark’s Closest Living Thing album.
Author: Kerry Doole, Exclaim.
Date: 1 August 2009.
It’s now quite common for singers in popular rock bands to rework their songs in a stripped down or acoustic setting. Mark Seymour (of veteran Australian rockers Hunters & Collectors) does just that here on something of a “best of” collection, with mixed results. Like compatriots Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil) and Nick Cave, he possesses a ruggedly virile vocal style best suited to the rock band setting. More tender tunes like the gorgeous “Throw Your Arms Around Me,” “Say Goodbye” and “Everythings On Fire” survive the transition well, but such widescreen epics or anthemic cuts like “Talking To A Stranger,” “Holy Grail,” “When The River Runs Dry” and “The Slab” had this scribe returning to the high-decibel band versions. The album does confirm that Seymour is a compelling singer and a superb and rather underrated songwriter, and can certainly be recommended to those unfamiliar with his band’s catalogue. (All My People/Fontana North)