Would you buy a band’s greatest hits album if you knew only two of their songs? That’s what I did when the Scottish pop/rock band Del Amitri released a compilation entitled Hatful of Rain in 1998. It was hard to justify even the creation of a greatest hits album for an act that hadn’t broken through in America (and never did, fwiw), but I was already a massive fan of the two songs I knew from them-”Roll To Me” and the previously discussed “Always the Last to Know”. As I got to know their catalog even more, I fell in love with them even more. Lord knows I ran that cassette into the ground during my 90 minute commute to work every morning.
Side note: I almost miss the days when I was poorer and didn’t have unlimited access to digital music, because it gave me time to listen to an album repeatedly and fall in love with it, as opposed to listening to it once or twice, making a snap judgement, and moving on to the next thing (or, as I’m more apt to do these days, just listen to an older piece of music that I’m already familiar with).
Hatful of Rain’s first track was its only previously unreleased song, “Cry to Be Found”. It wears its lyrical heart on its sleeve, as most Del Amitri songs do. Justin Currie’s simply asking a romantic interest to let him know they want to be loved. “Cry” frames those lyrics in a Philly soul-inspired backdrop, with swelling strings, a lightly swinging backbeat and a beautifully gruff falsetto from Currie. So much of Del Amitri’s music is simple, to the point, and hits the heart hard because it’s so easy to connect to that simplicity. “Cry to Be Found” is no exception.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS….
“Cry No More” (Phonte, 2018): Real, real, real talk about taking care of oneself from one of the greatest lyricists alive.