The Mystery and the Hum, by Peter Himmelman

Peter Himmelman's gifts for melody, lyrical poignancy and spiritual depth are rare among singer-songwriters. He can also rock: "Motel Room in Davenport" chugs like a freight train, while "Good Luck Charm" mixes white-boy rapping and an anvil-heavy beat into a solid groove. Written over a two-week period and recorded in three days, Hum sounds more immediate and bracing than albums eked out over longer periods of time. It's highly rewarding from the very first listen.

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