Tim Prudhomme 
With the Hole Dug
/smells like; 2002/

rating : 
I don’t like marks but since Barbara “the boss” H compels me to: 8




more info :

    With the Hole Dug is a collection of highly intimate, sweet melancholy songs by ex-FUCK front man Timothy Prudhomme. There are a lot of guests in his solo debut recorded in Memphis (Doug Easley from FUCK is still there). The sleeve is a photograph (taken by Smells Like folk singer Chris Lee) that represents a prostrated statue, which is a good introduction to this album.

At first sight most of these songs seem falsely happy and naïve but when you listen carefully, they contain a sadness which is deeper than what you first notice. They are really not as peaceful as they seem to be. The bald style convey a strong, long-lasting bittersweet impression. ‘Lost Love’, ‘At 3am’, ‘Twas not courage’, ‘I Love to be With You’ and ‘Sweetheart o’mine’ are good examples. Some songs are really sad in tone though (‘Into the Woods’, ‘Mr Lucky’) and some others have a discreet bluesy aspect(‘Love me Love Me Not’, ‘Like a Lullaby’)

Tim Prudhomme’s delicate voice is restrained and it seems very close as if he was telling you touching confessions. The music is sometimes a bit cheerful and lively but the lyrics (full of play words by the way) act as a counterpoint. The poignant ‘At 3 am’ seems initially to be a gentle love song but it reveals itself to be a tender confession when Tim bashfully utters: “At 5:05, I realize when she said good night, she meant good bye. And I start to cry, and I can’t stop crying”.

The darker songs sound a bit like Tom Waits (and even Nick Cave). It does not remind me of a particular album but the general atmosphere is somehow similar to Waits sinister, quiet songs endowed with awkward, bewildering lyrics (dealing with death, murder, drunkenness, abortive suicides, etc.) Despite the voice which is totally different from Tom Waits, ‘Rollin’ On’ and ‘Mr Lucky’ especially makes me think of him. ‘Rollin’ On’ is a sullen track about a weird letter and a dismal waitress who “looks older than she should”. This song has a strange atmosphere of menace which is brought into relief in the lyrics: “You ain’t seen my bad side yet, you ain’t seen me half-upset”. ‘Mr Lucky’ is an ironic title for a nice sad song dealing with a poor drunkard’s abortive suicide.

Thanks to its atmosphere, it seems that this album was written late at night. The cd came with an amusing photo of Tim wearing a clown nose (a red one). Maybe he should have dressed up as a white face clown but I guess there would no longer be irony in it! Anyway, it’s really nice to play this album by night when you’ve subdued the light and when everything remains silent. With the Hole Dug is really praiseworthy and I think that if you like Alice by Tom Waits for instance, you’d better take a chance with Tim Prudhomme’s solo debut.


/sept  15th 2002/