27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down (Audio CD)
His California Trilogy behind him, Ry Cooder now turns his attention to the state of the nation. No spoiler alert needed, but it isn't exactly a favourable report on the Land of the Free.
Starting with 2005's `Chavez Ravine', Cooder's music has become increasingly politicised and there are few holds barred here, with the banking crisis, the war in Iraq, immigration and the environment just a few of his targets.
All Cooder's traditional musical styles are amply represented here, from dustbowl-style acoustic blues through Tex-Mex, rock `n' roll, gospel, doo-wop, old-time crooners and then some.
There are welcome cameos from a number of familiar Cooder stalwarts: Jim Keltner, Flaco Jimenez, Terry Evans, Arnold McCuller and Willie Green all make appearances, alongside son Joachim Cooder and vocalist Juliette Commagere, an ever-present since `Chavez Ravine'.
"Baby Joined The Army" is a long, bleak, raw, stripped down and primal blues, in which the protagonist chillingly and tellingly observes "They told me if I get killed in battle, I still get paid". Bet that was a winning line down at the recruitment stations.
"Humpty Dumpty World" and "Lord Tell Me Why" are musical throwbacks to such albums as "Bop Till You Drop" and "Borderline", the latter interesting for its paradoxical use of a blatantly Afro-American vocal arrangement to bemoan the fact that "A white man ain't worth nothing in this world no more". Along with the rocking "I Want My Crown" it's arguably the best thing on the album.
Despite the pervading seriousness, there's still much fun to be had. "John Lee Hooker for President" imagines the late great bluesman running for the White House, Cooder capturing his idiosyncratic style (and voice) to a tee whilst peppering the lyrics with as many of Hooker's iconic phrases as can feasibly be squeezed into six minutes. Somewhere up in boogie heaven that big old deep brown voice must be chortling away at the very idea.
Almost as bizarrely, "El Corrido De Jesse James" has the infamous outlaw itching for the opportunity to come back and relieve his `banking brothers' of their ill-gotten bonuses. Honour among thieves, presumably the message here.
On the gentler side, "No Hard Feelings" brings to mind the likes of "That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me" (from `The Slide Area') whilst "Dirty Chateau", featuring Commagere's dusky harmony vocals along with some rare but oh so tasteful strings, glides effortlessly all the way home.
Protest songs have clearly come an awful long way since Seeger and Dylan.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Sep 2011 14:18:44 BDT
WT Mitchell says:
so....did you like it?
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2011 12:58:14 BDT
The clue is in the four stars... I did like it but I don't consider it quite as magnificent as some reviewers. Where it's good it's very good, but I think it's a bit under-produced in places and overall, of Cooder's recent efforts, I still prefer I Flathead.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2011 09:59:08 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Apr 2013 08:17:45 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2011 07:16:46 BDT
Alan Gent says:
Photoshop is a wonderful thing.
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