|Chumbawamba / Boy Bands Have Won, The|
|Album:||Boy Bands Have Won, The||Collection:||General|
|Label:||Trade Root Music, Llc|
|Add Date:||2008-10-05||Pull Date:||2008-12-07|
|Week Ending:||7 Dec||30 Nov||23 Nov||16 Nov||9 Nov||2 Nov||19 Oct||12 Oct|
|1.||Apr 16, 2011:||Everyday Commotion |
|4.||Nov 05, 2010:||Everyday Commotion |
|2.||Mar 11, 2011:||Everyday Commotion |
|5.||Apr 08, 2009:||Everyday Commotion |
|3.||Jan 14, 2011:||Everyday Commotion |
|6.||Dec 16, 2008:||That's Still Not Bluegrass |
Find me a band that can write a catchier, more clever, more heart-aching, yet absurdly humorous song than “Add Me” here. Then see if that other band can do it a dozen times, use only acoustic instruments in the process, perform it all exquisitely, and then add historical and political context, connect all these pop gems properly into a flowing album, and … you just can’t. This is brilliance of the first order from a band that has consistently, for 20+ years, battled the forces of crap commercialism, except that one time they struck it rich with a crapulously commercial frat-boy anthem, just because they could. By rights, this album should be the zillion-seller. The overarching theme here is “change”, illustrated most “obviously” by the contention that music cannot be allowed to stagnate, but sneakily disguised in a variety ways among the songs, between which lie a few shorter interludes, which are good in their own right but which I will not review below. Most highly recommended and you shan’t hesitate to play any of the songs on the CD. And if you need more info than already provided in the booklet, check chumba.com.|
2. I won’t give away the punchline but suffice it to say that black humor and searing
empathy are in perfect balance, as are klezmer-ish clarinet, accordion, and trumpet
3. Are the bravest the blustering and fighting empire builders or the peaceful talkers?
Acapella and gorgeous.
4. A lament for the bigotry and hatred revealed, posthumously, to be in the heart of the
writer Philip Larkin
5. A swinging acapella story song of a fighter in the Mexican Revolution who survived
a firing squad’s ten shots plus the captain’s shot to the head
6. Sweet melody; lyrics are a bit obscure but the booklet explains that the reference in
the song is to natural selection as evidenced by some moths and therefore, how
change is essential to life.
7. An old English country tune; but in the new lyrics, the protagonist wishes deeply that
his employers would sack him so that he could have his life back; heartbreaking
8. A song positing how much better the world would be if the aggrieved, particularly
bombers, would throw words and rhymes at passers-by
9. Taking the piss on the motivations of entertainment industry do-gooders
11. How differently the rich and the poor live; the only change evident here is increasing
inequality in life even as M. Thatcher and G. Brown are quoted asserting the exact
opposite, approximately 20 years apart.
12. The career arc of a politician in one verse
13. An ode to a radio, for god’s sake, by Betrold Brecht, who lamented only that it was a
14. And speaking of Brecht, a song based on a play on his name, played by a small
15. The explanation for why Chumbawamba does not “sing about love”; whether singing
about love is an escape from or a progression beyond singing about justice
16. From the notes: “A short aside concerning the reign of Queen Thatcher”
17. Adapting to change under new regimes, specifically in East Germany
18. The sorry stories of how various customers, from the indifferent to the lecherous to
the entitled make life miserable for a waitress
19. A funeral hymn, done with all solemnity, for “received pronunciation”, aka “BBC
English”, aka the language used to filter out the lower classes; do not just gloss over
the music, listen to the lyrics
20. Again from the notes: “A [bluegrass-tastic] singalong for Charles Darwin”,and shit,
do we ever need him now?
22. The sadness of the economically-displaced, “refugees” by all rights but “illegal
aliens” in common usage
23. Miscarriage of justice, racially motivated, false convictions of innocent African-
Americans, do-nothing governors, in Louisiana, today? Yes. Not the Jena 6.
freegarytyler.com And enjoy this somber song of the horror of his case. He’ll be on
the news one day soon.