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John Hiatt’s "Terms of My Surrender" is his fifth album in the last six years.  To say he is on a roll creatively is putting it mildly. But to keep from wearing out his welcome each is produced differently. His last album was a garage rock sound while the new one is more acoustic and blues oriented similar to his 2000 release "Crossing Muddy Waters."

The appeal of his songs lies in the fact that he can show off his ironic sense of humor just as quickly as he can switch to a heartbreaking love song and then change gears to socio-political commentary. "Terms of My Surrender" has all that and more.

Like his songwriting, Hiatt’s voice seems to be improving with age. His reedy high tenor has mellowed down to a resonating earthy tone making his powerful lyrics all the more meaningful and he’s not above falling back on a shaky falsetto to add to the variety.

The acoustic nature of the album is sometimes blown apart by shredding electric guitar, exploding for a moment before retreating to back the acoustic blues that is his trademark.

On his 21st studio album John Hiatt solidifies his standing as one of his generation’s greatest songwriters putting himself up there with the likes of Dylan, Springteen and Neil Young. Like those iconoclasts he’s long past worrying the quantity of his output but on the quality of his music.   

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