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Album Review

Hispana Tim was singer/songwriter Tim Best's short-lived alter ego in between the demise of his early band Girl of the World and his later solo career. Pretty much unchanged from the spare indie pop sound of Girl of the World, down to the trio format, Hispana Tim isn't cute enough to be twee. Best's artless lead vocals, with their heavy Australian accent, are of the type that most indie kids find endearingly casual, although those who prefer a bit more polish to their pop might find them the album's weakest link. As a songwriter and guitarist, however, Best is at the top of his form here, with the dreamily romantic "Constance Carlisle" and the spare acoustic closer, "Sad and Lonely," particular highlights. Viva! came and went with the barest minimum of fuss, at a time when the '90s indie scene was collapsing into apathy and a glut of soundalike releases from too many bedroom D.I.Y. labels, but it's a small treasure waiting to be discovered.

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Viva, Hispaña Tim
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