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WHAT IT IS

What It Is


Some guys are better at being a regular guy than others, and more than 16 years into his career as a singer/songwriter, Hayes Carll may well be the most regular of all guys with guitars in America. Carll is just smart enough to tell his stories with a clear and articulate lyrical voice, his music is pleasing but as unpretentious as it gets, and his vocal style makes him sound like a fortunate version of the guy sitting next to you at the bar, chasing some bourbon with a draft. While Carll emerged from the Texas singer/songwriter community that brought us the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, at his best he feels a bit more like he's half Todd Snider and half John Prine, well acquainted with the funny and the challenging sides of ordinary lives, and that's the formula that comes across on 2019's What It Is. Fellow singer and songwriter Allison Moorer produced What It Is in tandem with engineer/bassist Brad Jones, and Moorer clearly knows what someone like Carll needs in the studio. She has provided him with a backing group that plays rootsy contemporary folk with the scrappy enthusiasm of a well-oiled bar band and a clean vocal mic that captures Carll's vocals, and otherwise she stays out of his way and lets him run his show. Moorer's instincts were right on the money, and What It Is manages to sound like everyone involved is playing at the top of their game while also maintaining a feel that's playful and loose. Carll has fun owning up to his various misdeeds in "None'ya," "Wild Pointy Finger," and "Things You Don't Wanna Know"; tries to do his best in the game of love in "I Will Stay" and "Beautiful Thing"; and gets a bit philosophical as he ponders the world around him on "Jesus and Elvis," "Times Like This," and "If I May Be So Bold." At each turn, he sounds like he's trying just hard enough to make the songs stick but without forcing the issue, and as a songwriter and a vocalist he does a fine job of making his real-deal persona communicate. Some regular guys craft occasional masterpieces, but Hayes Carll more often is the guy who delivers a good, solid, and enjoyable piece of work and then moves on, and that's what he's given his fans on What It Is. Like the cheeseburger that regular guy ordered at the bar, it may not be fancy, but it sure leaves you satisfied. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Condition: New
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: HPB.com
  • Seller rating:
  • Label: WEA CORP
  • UPC: 803020186927


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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