John Hiatt’s “Poor Imitation of God” is a track that the late George Harrison would have adored. It’s driving backbeat and swinging Hammond organ accent the lyrics about a man working to accept himself as he is, flaws and all. The song is the newest release from his upcoming album The Eclipse Sessions, which arrives Oct. 12.
The 11-song collection was recorded with a three-piece band over three sessions that coincided with the last year’s solar eclipse and Hiatt’s 65th birthday on Aug. 20, 2017. Each character within the songs presents take on different life challenges from the pursuit of unconditional love to self-acceptance.
“It kind of covers various trials and tribulations that we all go through and the same ground I’ve always covered — love, winning, losing, the agony and the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat,” Hiatt tells CMT.com exclusively. “The idea behind [“Poor Imitation of God”], is it’s another guy in a situation that a lot of guys seem ill-equipped to be in, which is trying to love a significant other when so many of us really aren’t trying to do that.”
Hiatt adds the main character is trying to feel a sense of security from a power that’s greater than himself so that in turn, he can love his significant other despite his imperfections. He states in the last verse, “Can’t you see I’m trying to love you when I can’t even love myself?”
“That’s kind of the dilemma I think that this guy is facing, ’If I can learn to love myself, I might have a shot.’ Along with my Catholic upbringing, it was kind of drilled into us that you’re made in the image of God — we’re perfectly imperfect.”
Hiatt is on tour through Nov. 15.