Texas based singer/songwriter Nourallah was always a superior ballader, but on Hit Parade he hits paydirt. It sounds as if Ray Davies had joined The Beatles on a new White Album. It made the Absolute Powerpop #1 pick for 2012 and I’d squeeze it into my top ten at seven and a half. “38 Rue de Sevigne” opens slowly but expands with backing harmonies, guitars and drums into a rich tapestry.
It’s a concept album along chronological lines, when you’re young you feel “Unstoppable” but soon it becomes “This Goddamn Life.” While mostly downbeat, the album has some brilliant set pieces like the catchy “Channel 5” and the awesome title track with its rolling drum and bass line where Salim “used to be…” Thinly disguised humor of “Travolta” reveals tragedy and “The Quitter” shows a maturity and humility that is rarely visible in music today. I’m grateful to those who brought this album to my attention.