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¡Let Freedom Ring!

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Album Review

On his latest offering, Chuck Prophet takes on the recent financial meltdown, albeit in his usual, oblique way. The band is a stripped-down foursome with Prophet on vocals and guitar, second guitarist Tom Ayers, bassist Rusty Miller, and drummer Boom Carter, but they bring a surprisingly diverse palette of sound to these 11 tunes. "What Can a Mother Do" is a shuffling folk-rock tune that scopes out the lives of two losers facing diminished expectations — a girl who's "unwanted in 17 states", and a teenage father with three kids trying to make ends meet while in the service. "Barely Exist" is even bleaker, a dark, bluesy tone poem that reads like a postcard from Desolation Row peopled with folks who have big dreams but drink asbestos in their Kool Aid. "Let Freedom Ring" is a country rocker, a dark portrait of the modern American nightmare that contrasts the struggle of the poor with the heartless parties of the haves. "American Man" sounds like a distant cousin of the Stones "Street Fightin' Man"; an anthemic surrealistic rant full of clanging guitars and whooping harmonies. But all is not lost. Prophet leavens his cynicism with several shots of frantic rock & roll. "Good Time Crowd" is a jaunty rocker full of manic energy, a surf tune that rides a giddy tidal wave of energy. "Hot Talk" conflates sex, power, capitalism, and the sensationalist media with its jaded tongue firmly in cheek, while "Leave the Window Open" is a dreamy ballad that celebrates the simple pleasures money can't buy. It closes the album on a hopeful note with Prophet turning in an achingly soulful vocal., Rovi


Born: June 28, 1963 in Whittier, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Chuck Prophet hit the road straight out of high school in the '80s with the psychedelic roots band Green on Red, and he never looked back. In addition to working as a singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, and collaborator with artists as diverse as Cake, Kim Carnes, Solomon Burke, and Alejandro Escovedo, Prophet's deepening solo catalog of self-produced "sideways" roots rock has steadily become his calling card. Born in the Southern California suburb of Whittier, the San Francisco-based Prophet...
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¡Let Freedom Ring!, Chuck Prophet
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