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CD Reviews: Review of The Revolutions Starts ...NOW
Red Rocker Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Steve Earle: The Revolution Starts ...NOW (2004)

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It becomes less and less clear with each Steve Earle record that the music business is really his thing. Maybe he should flank James Carville on the Sunday morning TV shows instead. Maybe he’d make a dueling match vs. Rush Limbaugh on afternoon radio. Or maybe he could pen a couple best sellers or even help Michael Moore script his next Republican-loathing documentary?

In any event, The Revolution Starts…Now hits stores ahead of original schedule, but just in time to garner Earle a headline or two in this Presidential election season. It’s a concept album of all concept albums, drenched thick with political posture and more left-wing support than John Kerry could ever hope to get out of John Edwards. Steve Earle is no newbie to this arena, mind you. He’s been writing cynical, plight-of-the-common-man verses for the better part of 20 years, and while he claims no political affiliation to any existing party it’s hard to believe that he doesn’t care how the votes might fall come November.

“Home to Houston” is a brooding mid-tempo shuffle that depicts the trials of a truck-driving contractor working to rebuild Iraq and just longing to “get home to Houston alive, then I won’t drive a truck anymore.” The sober ballad “Rich Man’s War” is neither subtle nor discreet, as Earle chronicles “rollin’ into Baghdad wonderin’ how we got this far, just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war.” He chooses not to skirt or sugarcoat any issue and he leaves no public office or entity off his radar screen. “F the CC” fires the most blatant shells at this country’s otherwise sacred organizations. “So fuck the FCC, fuck the FBI, fuck the CIA, livin’ in the motherfuckin’ USA.”

Whether you agree with Steve Earle’s razor tongue or hate his liberal guts, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore him altogether. As a fan of his music and lover of his past catalog, my beef with these latest songs is that in many cases the music has taken a back seat to his purpose of staking a political claim. “Warrior” is not even a song but a Shakespearian spoken word, while “Condi, Condi” would have been better addressed with a letter (to Condoleeza Rice). I do, however, credit Earle for having such unwavering conviction and for using his music to do something more than getting chicks. Unless he really does have a mad crush on Condi Rice? 

~Red Rocker 


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