Title - ‘Days To Recall’ (Decca)
Artist - Justin Hines
Optimism permeates throughout Days to Recall, Justin Hines U.S. debut album just-released this past August on Decca. The Canadian singer/songwriter’s collection of heartfelt songs about life and love showcase his considerable talents, and his will to overcome insurmountable obstacles.
For those that don't know, Hines has thrived all his life against odds that would daunt someone with a less indomitable spirit. Hines has Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that confines him to a wheelchair.
Freely admitting that his condition has provided challenges, his inner inspiration is incredible - let alone his actual outer voice!
On the first track, 'Just The Same,' Hines bares his soul for over three minutes. A song that doesn't move faster than a steady flow, its self-professing is something we all have contemplated before; one way or another. 'Tell Me I'm Wrong,' quite possibly the best song on the album (for my money) gets into a poppier vein, as Hines searches for his way home, before title track 'Days To Recall' takes us back to him and his voice.
The drum-driven soul of 'Come Around' is next, and shows us that Hines is equally at home with or without his band backing him. 'See You Like I Do' is Hines and a cool musical vibe buffering along aside him, before 'Momentarily' takes us back to a solo, save for a daunting cello, contemplative Hines.
'Somewhere In The Middle' finds Hines coming across as a coffee shop folk singer, and for all the good reasons! It's the kind of song that would make you raise your head and hope that he never stops playing for you. Then comes 'Nothing Better Than Today,' which is followed by the guitar-backed, more vocally passionate 'Why Not Love Me.'
The wonderful CD is made complete with both 'Now There's You,' where a more wishful Hines takes center stage, and finally 'Say What You Will,' where Hines and an acoustic guitar comes to bare their souls.
Russell A. Trunk