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Album Review

Henry has often made stylistic departures, so Fuse shouldn't be all that shocking. Yet, "Fat" sounds freaky till the beats soak in; the faux soul of "Want Too Much" is cloying. But ultimately, the new groove-a-delic Henry knows how to work the sound as he mixes and matches old and new, as on the Dylan-y bits with a "millennial" backing track (Daniel Lanois and T-Bone Burnett step in to mix); the subtle, catchy chorus in the opener "Monkey"; the laid-back and fuzzy "Angels"; and the fantastically evocative and poetic mysticism in the title song. There's upbeat melodicism in (I love you with my) "Skin and Teeth." But why that George Benson-like guitar solo during "Curt Flood"?

Customer Reviews

Under-appreciated and delightfully addictive!

It really is a shame that Joe Henry does not receive the attention and following that he rightfully deserves. Although he was was known before the 1999 release of Fuse, it is with this album that I became introduced to his work and still believe it to be his absolute best. Joe's voice is entirely unique - think Dylan but without the nasal-ness (hey, don't get me wrong, I love Bob Dylan). The lyrics are catchy, lyrical, and although at times a bit strange, he still has the talent of blending lines in a way that makes you feel like you are listening to his private rants and musings. One things I feel I must state is that this album is completely mis-classified as "country." I suppose I am not really a true Joe Henry fan, as I don't really care for his earlier works that really did fit into the country genre of music. I think iTunes scares off a lot of potential listeners with this label - people like me who absolutely despise country music. The songs on this one however, could easily be loved and appreciated by anyone who listens to indie-alternative stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if something of his turns up on a show like "Grey's Anatomy" one of these days - it's that type of thing. "Angels," "Fat," and "Fuse" are my personal faves. Buy the whole album - I guarantee you won't regret it. If you don't like it at first, give it some time to grow on you. It will.


couldn't agree more with previous review...great album. Songs 4-7 should destroy ANY country thoughts.


This was my first introduction to Joe Henry. I wish he'd do more albums like this one. I'm a writer by trade and this is my favorite album to have on to get me in the mood for writing. Not sure why this does the trick, but I must have listened to this album now over 1000 times. It's still as fresh as the day it was released ten years ago! I just don't understand why Joe hasn't hit the "mainstream" big time yet. Maybe it's a good thing he hasn't.


Born: December 2, 1960 in Charlotte, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A gifted songwriter and vocalist whose intimate, richly detailed songs have been shaped by his eclectic musical worldview (encompassing rock, folk, country, soul, and jazz influences), Joe Henry is also a well-respected producer...
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