Steve Earle

By Jodde Mason

Steve Earle wanted his latest album out immediately. In the eyes of Steve Earle, the album was that important. Or in his words, he wanted people to hear it before “the most important presidential election in our lifetime.”

Understandably, The Revolution Starts Now is heavy with lyrics of a certain political sentiment. But, never do these polemical rhetoric of the album get in the way of the music.

The song “Rich Man’s War,” has a tragic sounding melody and provocative lyrics, such as “He answered when he got the call/ Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah”. We get stories like this from CNN, but what Earle does earlier in the song is explain why, and in a very poetic way.

His anti-war sentiment can be seen in such songs as “Warrior.” In his trademark voice, he sings, “Take heed, for I am weary, ancient/And decrepit now and my time grows short/There are no honourable frays to join,” he sings. Clearly, he’s saying there’s nothing honourable in war.

Great songs, though, cannot just wander aimlessly about with brilliant lyrics alone, they must be backed by harmonious instrumentation. Steve Earle does not let anybody down here. The track “Gringo’s Tale” incorporates mellifluous violins and cellos in a special string quartet giving it a unique mellow flavour.

With clever lyrics, well-mixed instruments, and a special bonus track, this is an album to be played for generations, regardless of political leanings. The Revolution Starts Now has all the earmarks of becoming an instant hit.

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