Tragically Hip rhythm guitarist Paul Langlois just released the first song, Can't Wait Anymore (available from iTunes), from his forthcoming solo album, Fix This Head. I've always liked his backing vocals, because they were always rough and ready, full of character and life, the opposite of smooth auto-tuned fakery. Langlois's back-ups have been compared in the past to Bernadette Peters' high-pitched warble, but I never heard his voice like that - to me it was a rootsy rock and roll voice full of yearning, never perfect, but perfect for the Hip. Certainly his voice has been one of those things that has helped make the Hip unique.
The video above is taken from the premiere on Hockey Night in Canada, which is fitting for a guy from an iconic Canadian act that has referenced hockey in songs and videos over the years. But the song is not a Hip-like anthem, and it certainly doesn't resemble Nickelback butchering Elton John, so it's an intriguing choice to play over a montage of Habs and Leafs historical bits and highlights. Lyrically, it's clearly much less artsy or obtuse than a lot of Gord Downie's unique wordplay, and musically, it sounds like mellow gold. There have been a few Hip tracks that showcased Langlois's voice more than others, here's one that's almost a co-lead vocal.
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