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Terms Of My Surrender (Vinyl + MP3)

148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hiatt, a master lyricist and satirical storyteller, weaves hidden plot twists into fictional tales ranging in topics including redemption, relationships, growing older and surrendering, on his terms. The 2014 record is musically rooted in acoustic blues, accentuated by Hiatt s soulful, gritty voice, which mirrors the gravity of his reflective lyrics. For Terms Of My Surrender, Hiatt turned to his longtime guitarist Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, Jack Ingram) to produce. Though Hiatt initially picked up an electric guitar on day one of recording, Lancio challenged him to play acoustic instead, which set the tone and mood for the whole process. Hiatt even plays harmonica on the album, which he hasn t done in several years. They recorded most of the album off the floor as if in a live setting, which was fitting since the band in the studio was Hiatt's exceptional touring band.
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Digital Booklet: Terms Of My Surrender
Digital Booklet: Terms Of My Surrender
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 15, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,423 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Stolk on July 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD
“Terms Of My Surrender” is the twenty-second studio album by John Hiatt, the singer-songwriter with the soulful, gritty voice, and another highlight in a career that already spans four decades. In a bit of a departure from previous albums that slanted towards gravelly country-folk, the 11 tracks on his new record are mainly acoustic blues, with Hiatt even playing harmonica, something he hasn’t done in several years.

Among my favorites on this album are the folksy album-opener “Long Time Coming,” which is a Springsteen-ish track, with Hiatt starting out acoustically. It slowly grows into full instrumentation with a great guitar solo from Doug Lancio in the middle part, before ending acoustically again. Then you have the thumping back porch blues of “Face Of God,” a 12 bar track where Hiatt asks: “How much more suffering, Before you see the face of God,” and also makes the harmonica howl. Then you have the cheerful “Marlene,” a deceptively simple ditty as exemplified by lyrics like “Marlene, Marlene, when you call my name, Marlene, Marlene, like a summer rain,” but it’s an incredible catchy and for sure will make “… the blues run and hide.”

“Wind Don’t Have To Hurry” is a banjo-driven track that also has female backing vocals to flesh out the song (although the “Na Na Na Na” edges close to getting a tad repetitive). The hobo jazz of title track “Terms Of My Surrender,” which has some of the wittiest lyrics on the album: “Sometimes love can be so wrong, Like a fat man in a thong” (okay, now to get that image out of my head!) and which is a bit reminisced of Randy Newman.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Bruce E. White on July 23, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's heartening to see so many positive reviews for John Hiatt's new album. As a person who has been a fan since the Slug Line album, I've stuck with John through the new wave, 80's pop and roots years, and I'll continue to do so. I don't like to criticize or second guess an artist of John's caliber because I have tremendous respect for his accomplishments, but this effort strikes me as...well, not having much effort. Perhaps it's the curse of writing that one perfect album (Bring the Family) all those years ago, and the expectation that lightning will strike twice. I've found myself listening to his more recent three or four efforts several times and then putting them on the shelf. The lyrics are still great, but very few of the songs stick with me and that's the case with this one. Every song has an oh-so-comfortable familiar feel because, well, I've heard many songs like these before from John. If anyone else has had the same feeling about the more recent work, and if you're wondering if this is more of the same...yes, this is more of the same. It's a good same, but there's nothing here as exciting as Her Pink Bedroom, as rocking as Thing Called Love, or as beautiful as Feels Like Rain. Just standard, rootsy chord progressions and arrangements, nicely played but without any real hooks to latch onto and really differentiate the songs. An average John Hiatt album will always be 1,000 times better than the dreck that passes for popular songwriting these days, but it would be great to hear him kick it up a notch and deliver more of those amazing melodies (She Loves the Jerk) and gorgeous arrangements (Lipstick Sunset) that made every new album an event.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Neill TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD
John Hiatt has made his way on the the short list of artists that I like where I absolutely salivate when I hear they have a new release coming. Hiatt's wit and songwriting talents make even his lesser received works essential listening. It is amazing to me that this is John Hiatt's 22nd studio album and he's still a relatively unknown artist in a lot of circles and it seems like he likes it that way. Hiatt is a true artist who releases music because it's what he does. He's not chasing money, he's not chasing fame, he's just a songwriter who can write on hell of a song.

Here on "Terms of My Surrender" we see Hiatt in fine form as he tracks through this heavily bluesy album. When I read that Hiatt said he was losing the top of his vocal register I was a bit concerned with the vocal quality we'd have on this release but Hiatt sounds more than fine keeping to the lower register.

Hiatt's longtime guitarist Doug Lancio produced this record and he puts Hiatt's vocals and lyrics up front and center which is exactly where they should be. From what I've read most of these tracks were recorded in one take which shows just how comfortable Hiatt is with his core group of road musicians which joined him in the studio to record this record.

There isn't a bad song on this disc, but some of the highlights for me are:

"Wind Don't Have to Hurry," reminds me a lot of something Springsteen could have put out in recent years with the Native American type chant throughout the song that talks about freedom and liberty.

"Face of God," is some great blues that could have been transmitted down from a time-period long ago and Hiatt sells the vocals, sounding at times to me like Tom Waits.
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