Steve Earle CD review [Artemis]

Music Reviews
Steve Earle CD reivew [Artemis]
Sep 24, 2002, 05:30


It sucks to live in a country without a conscience, and while many of my compadres at YF don't share my disgust with e-Merica's sociopathic behavior on the world stage and George Bush's disgraceful dereliction of duty at home, I for one am completely disgusted. How many kids do we have to kill in the name of the Yoo Ess Aye, anyways? (By the way: to anyone out there reading this who doesn't agree with me, FUCK YOU. I don't give a rat's ass about your apologist shit, so don't bother writing me to complain). But one thing that makes me proud to be an Amurrican—at least a little of the time—is Steve Earle.

Earle's the fuckin' Woody Guthrie of our time, courageously chronicling the human (read: non-capitalist) story in song—and what songs they are. Drawing on the richest veins that trad. Americana has to offer—the aforementioned Guthrie plus the broader country, folk, and rock traditions—this ace songwriter pens killer tune after killer tune. Relentlessly hopeful, relentlessly inspiring, unfailingly human, unflinchingly honest—THAT's what I want to hear, and that's what Earle delivers. Case in point: this disc's anthemic title track; simple, direct, and a solid rocker with a plainspoken social conscience—”I woke up this morning/and none of the news was good/death machines were rumbling across/the ground where Jesus stood.” This is shit that lotsa so-called punk/alterna runts couldn't touch in a thousand years—it is too honest and intense for 'em. Music with moral authority and humble humanity, free from sloganeering and rich in meaning. The beautiful music of our ugly, ugly time. [Artemis]

-David B. Livingstone

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