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Hampson, John - 2003 Seventeen minutes and thirty eight seconds in the dark

ARTIST: Hampson, John
ALBUM: Seventeen Minutes And Thirty Eight Seconds In The Dark
LABEL: Dirty Poet Records
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: John Hampson - vocals, all instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ultimate Love * 02 The In Crowd * 03 She Won't Get Away * 04 Sweeter Than * 05 Anywhere

You'd have to be tone deaf to have never heard 'Absolutely (Story of a Girl)', the John Hampson song that launched Nine Days to fame and that was never off the radio during the Summer of 2000. However, since the halcyon days of smash-hit singles and a gold-selling album, 'Madding Crowd', things haven't gone as smoothly for the Long Island-based band, with their drummer and keyboard player leaving, the termination of their Epic Records contract and completed follow-up album 'So Happily Unsatisfied' still shelved and unreleased. However, Nine Days frontman John Hampson has not let such frustrations hold him back and the release of his debut solo EP, 'Seventeenminutesandthirtyeightsecondsinthedark' (wow, with a handle like that, he must have taken a page out of Kip Winger's book!.. Ed) is an emphatic antidote to the industry politics that have plagued him over the past year and a half. Hampson has not used his solo career to experiment with a radical sound, but instead has played to his strengths with five new songs that share a similar, sound to the Nine Days material showcased on 'So Happily Unsatisfied'.

The Songs
The blatant pop hooks and melodies heard on 'Absolutely (Story of a Girl)' remain on opener 'Ultimate Love Song' but the sound is tougher, more aggressive and more electric but the song quickly becomes almost as infectious. 'The In Crowd' takes a swipe at the influence of TV while 'She Won't Get Away' is a wonderfully delicate, acoustic-based track, reiterating once more Hampson's immense song writing talent. 'Sweeter Than' ups the tempo once more and 'Anywhere' makes sure the EP ends on another superb note of quality with some passionate, pleading vocals and some wonderfully evocative lyrics.

In Summary
Impeccably written, produced and packaged, 'Seventeenminutesandthirtyeightsecondsinthedark' proves that there's more to John Hampson than one hit song, and is an excellent hint at what will come on a full-length solo release in 2004 and a forthcoming brand new Nine Days album this November.

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