Trip-O-Meter: 3.5 out of 5
Hull's solo career sprang forth from Lindisfarne, the English folk-rock band that he fronted. I must admit that I know next to nothing about that band, but the music on "Pipedream" claims some very 1970's which incorporates a bit of folk-rock, a bit of prog, a shot glass of the singer/songwriter vibe and a dash of psych rock. This album doesn't really do anything that's going to knock your socks off, but it's got a few worthy attributes that make a few spins worth your time. The production here is super crisp with that early 70's analog glow. The basic tonal palette here is very groovy. Also raising this disc's stock is Hull's very good songwriting skills, running a nice spectrum from power pop to English folk.
"Pipedream" is a pretty solid listen through and through, but there are definitely a few highlights of note. The disc really gets cranking with "Song For a Windmill," which greatly benefits from a throbbing pulse from some kind of British folk drum. "Blue Murder" tests the waters of the folkier sound of Pink Floyd (best illustrated on their soundtrack for "More"). Hull does a pretty good echo of early power popsters like Badfinger and Big Star with the one-two punch of "Breakfast" and "Just Another Sad Song." As the album progresses, Hull gets even groovier with his folk side, with "Money Game" and "United States of Mind" ranking as the best of a few lightly tripped out acoustic tunes.
Hull's debut solo album is a very pleasant and infectious listen. It's sort of a musical tour of the more creative side of British rock in the early 70's. I don't know if Hull necessarily deserves a spot in the Pantheon of rock (maybe I've got to hear some Lindisfarne before I know that), but he definitely had the cohones to piece together a fine album.