Friday, October 16, 2009

Grant Hart: 2541

So while Mould's solo debut came after Hart's, it seems that in the divorce settlement that Mould got to keep the cultural cache that Hüsker Dü had built up. Hart's solo career did began with brilliance but he soon stumbled and has never fully re-gained his footing.

Surprisingly, considering how he'd referred to Mould's late period Hüsker Dü work as "square", Hart's debut is even more more sensitive singer-songwriter fodder than Mould's! "2541" is however, a moving song of loss with a fittingly mournful melody. The fine lyrical details and the the swelling chorus make for the perfect eulogy for the Hüskers. It's blatantly autobiographical but unsentimental and it contains many a stinging line like, "It's probably not be the last time I'll have to be out by the first". While "Come, Come" is a respectable, if a bit duff, "Let Go" is the dreaded "funky B-side" which is, as it always must be, a real low point in the entire artist's discography.

{MRML readers leave a comment: Who's first A-side, Mould's or Hart's, was better?}

Download 2541 single

{Thanks to the incredible Hüsker Dü Database for help with this post.}

Support the artist!


  1. I prefer the Mould tune... I have always found it to be so uplifting. And I also love the Workbook album.

  2. I know I'm probably in the minority but I think Hart's solo stuff easily surpasses Mould's. Nova Mob's Last Days of Pompeii is by far the best record either of them has done since HD.

  3. hey man, great blog! check ours: and if you like it we could exchange links! cheers!

  4. Nazz
    'Notebook' is very good so I find myself stuck between these two songs but...

    ...overall I think the number of great songs on Mould's solo albums seems to win over over Hart's more modest, sketchy body of work. That said, I shall have to go and re-listen to TLDOP soon.


  5. These two tracks just exemplify why I'd rather have a beer with Hart, but prefer Mould's music hands-down. "2541" is thoughtful and catchy and breezy--a great tune by most standards. But "See a Little Light" is one of the greatest, most intense and totally ecstatic pop songs ever. Yes, ever.

  6. dick.

    Mould downloads = 91

    Hart downloads = 41

    (Mould's had extra time but the first 24-48 hours is where most of the action happens). While I'm kinda split on these in this single, the ballots are leaning heavily towards Mould.

    "See A Little Light" is better in many ways, but in "2541" Hart seems to channel the pain of losing Husker Du, whereas Mould feels a little aloof.

  7. Solo Mould has always sounded a tad strident to me, so put me in the Hart camp. I've always liked him better, but then I also pick my fantasy baseball teams based purely on sentiment.

  8. Laura
    I think sentiment was the key to my argument (see above comment) as to how '2541' was the equal of "See A Little Light".

    Glad to see you played "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" on the show. Maybe next week is the time for '2541' to get a little airplay....

  9. I'll be checking it out (got see if the little 'r' is there on the playlist).

  10. Like both these guys. Mould is a fine gent. But this type of anthem is best left to... I dunno... I don't listen to these types of anthems. It sounded really fake to my ears at the time. Slightly better now, because why? Perhaps I've heard enough bad new country to finally recognize some good. Solid as a click track can be. Workbook indeed.

    Hart on the other shoulder is all reverb and ghostly with an acoustic guitar and an intentional dischord at the end of every second bar. This is still an anthem but it's an anthem in a room without curtains, and maybe that's either betrayal in the air or somebody didn't change the cat box.

    Parenthetically--(I hate to bring up money among friends) but... You crazies who didn't dwnld Hart??!! Jesus I paid import bucks for that and the LP too back when. You can't be bothered for free? Times have changed... in a very bad way.

    Our house votes HART!!

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Hey Jeffen, have you considered a similar series of posts on the Replacements' first post-breakup albums?

  13. Steve
    I'm impressed with the fervor of the Hart followers. I've enjoyed some of his solo work over the years ("Shoot Your Way To Freedom" for example) but always thought he was forgotten.

    Thanks for the apt descriptions of all concerned and yes there is a bit of New Countryness to "Se A Little Light" (someone once suggested "If I Can't Change Your Mind" could be covers by Wynonna Judd) but I'm okay with that.

    Great idea but I doubt I'm the man for the job. You see the Replacements (a one songwriter band for sure)ended very badly. Those last two albums would be better as Westerberg solo albums (which is what they are)and when I saw them on the All Shook Down tour they were, without a doubt, the worst (formerly great) band I'd ever seen. By the time the solo work began arriving I kinda hated them (though I'd surely feel different by now).

  14. Jeffen,

    If you do feel moved to revisit that stuff, I recommend an unprejudiced listening session with both the first Slim Dunlap solo album and the Bash N' Pop album, each of which can be found for $2 in bargain bins across America.

  15. Well Hart's songs were my favourites in Husker Du catalogue and both Intolerance and Workbook are great albums, but I have to admit that the instrumental "Roller Rink" from the Intolerance album is tooo long and this is why Workbook is better.
    On the other side, 2541 is more Husker Du-ish so it easily wins my vote.
    As I can remember there was also 7˝ "Now that you know me" which had acoustic version of 2541 on it, as well as terrific acoustic cover of Signed D.C.
    I liked that single better, but that's just me.

  16. The people have demanded more Hart and it will be coming tomorrow.

    I d/l the Bash n' Pop from SOTD and will listen soon. Can't find any of the Slim Dunlap albums. If you can rip and scan any of them, I will post them with due credit given.

    Yup glad to hear that Hart-Mould conflict is still going, till now I thought Mould was the undisputed victor.
    I can't find that single you described (though I have an acoustic version of '2541' that I like better than the one I posted) so if you ever post it, let me know and I'll link to it.

  17. Save for 2541, I always preferred Mould's solo stuff to Hart's, but the original acoustic 2541 is one of my all time favourite tracks and I'm currently swooning as I've not had a copy in about 10 years.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  18. If doing this series of posts taught me anything it was about how many good songs there in Hart's solo repertoire.
    I advise going back to listen to "Intolerance".

    Glad you've got 2541 back.

  19. Although Mould's post-Huskers work is much more popular and critically applauded, I'm a firm believer that Hart released better tuneage on "Good News", "Hot Wax" and his Nova Mob project. Bob is great, especially his Sugar project, but I just find Grant's work more interesting to listen to.

  20. Anon
    Y'know we need a really good Hart compilation that starts at "2541" and goes up to "You're the Reflection..." It'd help balance the view of the post-Huskers world.


Thanks for clicking the COMMENTS link.
Now that you're here,I should mentions that
without reader feedback blogs slowly wither and die