Rolling Stone - 10/28/93, p.783.5 Stars
- Good - "...there is rock after 40....John Hiatt touts craft and class...secure in the knowledge that he's a man who's already got soul..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/1/93, p.56
"...a decidedly edgier offering than his last solo effort, 1990's STOLEN MOMENTS....Lucky for us, Hiatt hasn't forsaken his aching, bluesy, balladic side..." - Rating: B+
Q - 1/94, p.86
Included in Q's list of 'The 50 Best Albums Of 1993' - "...there's a youthful exuberance to the album that places it closer to the pop mainstream than anything this accomplished songsmith has done before...."
Q - 10/93, p.1064 Stars
- Excellent - "...[PERFECTLY GOOD GUITAR] pits Hiatt's turbulent vocal style and hard-edged writing...against a band who sound as if they're getting the hang of the material for the first time..."
Musician - 10/93, p.87
"...[John] Hiatt's PERFECTLY GOOD GUITAR eschews the contented, balladic approach in favor of a guitar-driven, band-fueled album that's mostly about turning out to be restless after all...Hiatt's most fun album in ages..."
Village Voice (3/1/94, p.5) - Ranked #38
in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, guitar, piano, organ); Michael Ward, Matt Wallace (guitar); Ravi Oli (electric sitar); John Pierce (bass); Brian MacLeod (drums, percussion); Dennis Locorriere, Jean McClain, Shaun Mariani (background vocals).
Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, guitar, piano, organ); Matt Wallace , Michael Ward (guitar); Ravi Oli (sitar); Brian Macleod (drums, percussion); Dennis Locorriere, The Studio Sausages, Shaun Mariani, Jean McClain (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Matt Wallace .
Recording information: Conway Studios; Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.
PERFECTLY GOOD GUITAR is John Hiatt's finest album of the '90s. The title track, which got quite a bit of airplay on 1993's then nascent adult album alternative radio format, is one of his most brilliant songs ever. It's a funny yet deceptively serious song examining the correlation between the way rock stars name their guitars after women, and the way they ritualistically destroy guitars onstage. The fact that it also has the best, catchiest chorus of Hiatt's career doesn't hurt, either.
Hiatt is relaxed, witty, and even playful throughout, balancing folky ballads and tough roots-rockers with grace and spirit. He's seemingly buoyed by his increasing fame as a songwriter of repute--Bonnie Raitt's excellent version of his "Thing Called Love" did both of their careers a world of good--and thankfully leaves behind the turbulence of his '80s personal life.