Thursday, June 26, 2008

CD Review: One Man Revolution

The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello) is not your average social/political critic who plays average revolution hymns. "California's Dark" paints a murky picture of riots and strife across California. Is there any hope left for California? It may just be a little too late according to The Nightwatchman. "One Man Revolution", perhaps the most popular song on the album, is a mixture of humour and horror. We hear about a noose in Morello's garage, but also a denial of Morello on the Playboy mansion's list of guests. Revolutions are generally pretty weak if there is only one person on board, but The Nightwatchman convinces us that he could probably shoulder the load all by himself. In "Let Freedom Ring", The Nightwatchman is afraid to publicly call for liberty in a world that doesn't want to hear it. "The Road I Must Travel" documents The Nightwatchman's endless struggle for freedom. At the end of the song, he does spot a sign on the highway, "but its too dark now to read." Morello says "The Garden of Gethsemane" is a song about doubt, but what exactly that means remains unclear. What is clear is that this song has some of the best guitar playing heard from a folk song. "House Gone Up in Flames" is about "it". "It" seems to be "change". From miners to the homeless to body bags to prayers, each verse is crying for change and starting of things anew. "Flesh Shapes the Day" is an anti-capitalist hymn that has its roots in anarchism (sounds a bit like Against Me! when Morello sings about broken Starbucks glass). The Nightwatchman stresses that YOU are responsible for YOU and that material objects are NOT. "Battle Hymns" = Anti-War, must I even say more? This is one of my personal favorites. The harmonica makes for a great ending. "Maximum Firepower" is about our call to pursue the same agenda The Nightwatchman is pursuing. It is about advancing ourselves against all of the injustices that we and others face. One only has to wonder what "Union Song" is about. Out of all his songs, this one ranks up there as the most impassioned. "No One Left" touches on the tragedy of war, 9/11, and everything in between; truly a sad song. "Dark Clouds Above" departs from The Nightwatchman's traditional folk style, but in the best way possible. The lyrical format is impressive to say the least. "Until the End" is the last track on the album. Ripping the American government to shreds, Morello sings verses that would make Noam Chomsky proud. For one final time, The Nightwatchman calls for a revolution with a goal of democracy and social justice in the U.S. The Nightwatchman is naturally in the dark but he calls for everyone to see the light.

Grade: 10 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. Excellent CD Review Glen! Ironically, in an interview, which I will post as soon as I find it, Tom Morello claims "there is a war criminal in office;there should be rioting in the streets." Go figure!


Your comments are valued greatly. Please adhere to the decorum on the "First time here?" page. Comments that are in violation of any of the rules will be deleted without notice.

3/11 Update - No Moderation

*Non-anonymous commenting is preferred to avoid mix-ups. Anonymous comments are, at the behest of management, more likely to be deleted than non-anonymous comments.