- Released: July 29, 2002
- Label: Repertoire
Entertainment Weekly - 8/17/01, p.73
"...RANT mixes ramshackel rockers and bleary-eyed ballads to compelling effect..." - Rating: B+
Q - 6/01, p.1093 stars out of 5
- "...Those still hungry for sound of the 70s will enjoy this immensely....a geezer par excellence has done rather well for himself here..."
- 2.Good Samaritan
- 3.Death of a Nation
- 5.American Spy
- 6.Dead Man Walkin' (Eastenders)
- 7.Wash Us Away
- 9.Soap 'N' Water
- 10.Knees of My Heart
- 11.No One
- 12.Still Love Rock and Roll
Personnel: Ian Hunter (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, piano, keyboards, bass); Andy York (6 & 12-string acoustic & electric guitars, mandoguitar, autoharp, zither, electric piano, harmonium, organ, chamberlin, bass, loops, background vocals); James Mastro (electric 12-string & slide guitars, mandolin, 6-string bass); Robbie Alter (guitar, piano, background vocals); Rick Tedesco (guitar, background vocals); Doug Petty (piano, organ, keyboards); Tommy Mandel (organ, keyboards, loops); John Conte (upright & electric basses); Rich Pagano (drums, bongos, background vocals); Steve Holley (drums, percussion); Dane Clark, Mickey Curry (drums); Willie Nile, Lisa Ronson, Jesse Patterson (background vocals).
Recorded at New Calcutta, New York, New York.
The musical statement that is Rant includes textures and ideas that pick up where Brain Capers by Mott the Hoople left off. "Still Love Rock and Roll" ignites this set; it rocks with an authority that "All the Way From Memphis" only hinted at. As Dion DiMucci's Shu Bop album redefined the position of a '60s artist and delivered the goods, Hunter's Rant reveals a '70s artist refining his philosophy. Rant he does, with eloquence and a new fire. Every track works, entertaining and enlightening, taking the listener through curves and turns, reaching the zenith in track ten, "Ripoff." From the "that's all you've got to live for" lyric to the song title itself, this song is a perfect pop tune, full of anger, passion, slashing guitar sounds, a condescending vocal, and hooks that are real magnetic grabbers. With production that is absolutely topnotch, Hunter bids adieu to his homeland. Although "Ripoff" is guaranteed to keep "Sir" from being added to Hunter's name, he should still be knighted for delivering a kick-in-the-pants rock & roll song that every car radio should be blasting. The Rolling Stones haven't injected this much majesty into a single tune, let alone an album, in over a decade. R.E.M. could learn a thing or two from "Knees of My Heart"; it has the jangle jangle guitar, but where R.E.M. seems stuck in some past groove, Hunter utilizes that Nick Lowe/Bob Dylan/Byrds melancholic musical essay to great and satisfying effect. This album smartly moves sounds from guitar to keys, shifting moods, making a grand musical statement. "No One" is Hunter delivering a ballad with drive. This isn't "Ships," his Barry Manilow hit, nor is it Mad Shadows' pre-"All the Young Dudes" composition "You Are One of Us"; this has flavors of early British pop, guitar sounds from the George Harrison textbook, and a meaningful vocal from this rock & roll troubadour. Rant is a record that transcends so much of what is going on right now in music, a record that is much too good for radio today. The Columbia/Legacy compilation Once Bitten Twice Shy delivered 38 Ian Hunter solo titles in the year 2000, giving the world a clear picture of his post-Hoople work and paving the way for this sensational recording. ~ Joe Viglione