For those who haven't hear this before, you are in for a real treat. This album (like the similar masterpiece Arizona Bay) is unique in many ways for blending music, live routines & studio-recorded speech to make something above & beyond a normal comedy album.
Although some of the references are a little dated (e.g. Waco, Jesse Helms & Clinton), the album still sounds fresh & covers a wide variety of topics. And the great thing is that no other comedian comes close to discussing what is on this CD. Further, no other comedian (with the possible exception of George Carlin) was or is so talented at making serious topics funny or bringing such insight to them.
As an example, there is my favourite track - track 8 (Gifts Of Forgiveness). First of all, no comedian would be able to talk about taking mushrooms in such an open, non-pretentious way (or without 'going for the gag'). Second, no comedian would be able to so clearly convey his philosophy from it, let alone make people laugh all the way through.
This is the best thing about this CD & is probably why the Quasi-religious documentary Zeitgeist used material from this CD - it really is good stuff for 'squeegeeing your third eye'.
Funny thing is though that this is also its weakness. Bill's philosophy was open & compassionate, but it was also Dark & Bleak in places. Many tracks are crude & disgusting, pandering to the worst instincts of comedy-club audiences (esp track 23 - Rush Limbaugh).
This is the nature of 'Dark Poetry' though - it reveals & enlightens unusual places, but also brings blackness. And, to be honest, most of this blackness can be ignored & discarded & the good stuff kept.
Bill brought to the World something fresh & complete in this album & it is a Great pity that it was released posthumourously. It is often said that the World kills its Prophets (something that Hicks realised). However, in this case the meme still lives on & (in the words of V from V for Vendetta): ideas are bulletproof.
P.S. As I am a HUGE Bill Hicks fan, I thought I'd write reviews of two of my favourite tracks/ MP3's off the album. If you only ever hear one bit of Bill Hicks in your life, then get the 1st one: Gifts Of Forgiveness Politics In America