the official list of the top 40 best songs of 2007

There was a good bit of outstanding new music in 2007, though looking through my list here, there were only maybe two or three of these songs that were significant radio hits.  Nonetheless, there's a lot of grooviness, an embarrassment of riches all around us to share and celebrate.  Most especially, I've spent a lot of time with Macy Gray's excellent Big album. 

But most of all, the story is the continued rule of El Presidente for Life Jack WhiteIcky Thump is perhaps the greatest, most eclectic and unique record the White Stripes ever made.  It is most particularly a huge quantum leap in major league guitar prowess for our Dear Leader Jack.

I got some feedback on last year's best of, for one, criticizing the supposed lack of breadth in picking multiple picks from a single album.  But that's a bogus egalitarian complaint, as if God poured out the genius in equal dollops.  I'm picking the best songs, not the most nominally well rounded or representative sample I could conjure.  If anything, I fear that I've erred here in having only three songs from Macy's album, passing over great morsels like "Finally Made Me Happy" and "Everybody."  I feel maybe even worse about having only five songs from the runaway album of the year, Icky Thump.  I specifically regret not having room for "Rag and Bones" and "300 MPH Torrential Downpour Blues" and "Effect and Cause."  I've probably also underrepresented the Born Again Floozies here with only three songs, and four picks is barely adequate for Porter Wagoner's excellent last album Wagonmaster. Most of all, Rickie Lee Jones brilliant gospel album is grossly underrepresented with just one song.  The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard is particularly good listening for Easter week.

Anyhow, here is The Official List of the Top 40 Best Songs of 2007:

Macy Gray caircature

1 - "Ghetto Love" Macy Gray  Macy Gray so totally rules.  She's got the total musical package, with sharp basic pop song composition, and then beautiful and full but precise arrangements.  On top of which, as a vocal performer, she's just about the singingest bitch walking the planet. Even within those consistently high standards, "Ghetto Love" sounds to me like the best record she ever made.

"Ghetto Love" is the song of the year.  It is the most ghetto fabulous romance ever put on a record.  It so BIG, so ghetto, and SO fabulous.  It's the hardest and tightest funk Macy has ever put on a record.  Plus, it's one of Macy's best vocal performances.  The devotional bliss in her voice by the ending cries of "We get HIIIIGH together" is just to die for.

This is a very spiritual gangster tale. All the chinchillas and rocks are but romantic costuming for the story of high steppin' lovers.  I particularly appreciate how she took the lyric somewhere, ending with her tribute to how her man has empowered her.  "I never worry when he's gone till November/ He taught me how to keep my hand on the trigger"

Every note of this arrangement counts.  For starters, she opens with a quote of the opening swirling strings of "It's a Man's World," which frames the song emotionally.  Plus, she's got the underlying string commentary throughout the song obviously invoking that.  Then there's that insanely catchy drum part, and that little repeated drum roll that seizes control of my body.  This whole concoction is whipping my ass as hard as anything James ever did.  Uh, that's pretty good right there.

Jack White playing guitar2 - "Catch Hell Blues" The White Stripes Supposedly, young Jack White had at one point intended to enter a seminary, except that he feared that he wouldn't be able to bring his guitar amplifier into the dorms.  The next to last song on Icky Thump combines these interests in their ultimate fulfillment - the most hardcore preachin' blues you ever heard. 

For one thing, this is way the #1 guitar song of anything I heard all year.  Jack White was always a good guitarist, usually with something memorable to say, if mostly relatively technically simply expressed.  Think Chuck Berry.  But this album and this song most particularly takes Jack's achievement as a guitar player to a totally new level technically - while not for a second being reduced to shredding.  This song is primarily a guitar statement, concise and sharp.  "If you're testing God and lying to his face, you're going to catch hell."  Then he rains down burning shards of guitar judgment like hell fire from an angry God.  Infidels beware.

Stew, The Negro Problem incarnate3 - "Black Men Ski"  Stew, The Negro Problem  Brother Stew so rules.  He wrote my favorite song of last year, and he's just now moving his autobiographical stage musical absolutely to Broadway.  But besides that, he has put out for free internet consumption a new pair of what turn out to be among his very best compositions.

"Black Men Ski" is a highly clever and sly lament about the false expectations and weird cultural tides of racial stereotypes.  This is one of the very catchiest records I heard all year, a mid-tempo arty pop song.  Best of many clever bustings of stereotypes in the new era, "Now we've got Viagra, everyone's a sex machine." Best of all, there's a unique and subtle pathos to the record that animates the clever arrangement and a lyric that even Cole Porter would have been proud of in its wit. 

"Some kids I'll describe as friends say I am race obsessed.  The luxury of that opinion shows that you are blessed."  Indeed, I know that I am blessed.  However, that Stew has the luxury of having no worse oppression than curious looks at the ski lodge to worry about strongly suggests to me that this Negro too is blessed.  As the narrator of Randy Newman's "Sail Away" would say, it's great to be an American.


4 - "Committed to Parkview" Porter Wagoner  Porter Wagoner did psycho stuff better than about anyone else going, starting with "The Rubber Room" and "The Cold Hard Facts of Life.  He recorded this song about a Nashville nut house he did some time in.  Dying of cancer, and wheezing very expressively, Porter finally recorded this song that Johnny Cash had written for him at the time, twenty odd years ago.

Small point of controversy, reports from Porter among others indicated that Johnny had also spent time at Parkview, which wouldn't be hard to believe.  There are some with JC connections, however, who make a big point that Johnny Cash was never actually a patient at Parkview.  He just knew a lot of people who'd been there, such as Porter.  It's a pretty haunting gallery of lost souls, from whatever distance the author viewed it.  "I hope I never have to go back there."

Sinead O'Connor in a priest outfit5 - "If You Had a Vineyard"  Sinead O'Connor Sinead O'Connor is the drama queen.  This big midtempo ballad is a beautiful dramatic Gods-eye lament for the Israelis and Palestinians.  I swear, sometimes Sinead is indeed the universal mother, the virgin Mary feeling all the children's pain.  This is probably the best song she's put out in a decade.  Note that the Theology album contains an album of Dublin recording sessions and a nearly duplicate track listing of London recordings, which are maybe slightly more fully orchestrated.  The London version of this is somewhat preferred.




6 - "Amazing" Seal  I'd say that this may be about the best song Seal ever made, second only maybe to "Kiss From a Rose."  He has this immense natural drama that he seems to generate near effortlessly, on command.  The angst and passion totally breathe life into the big dance club beat.  "Everyone says you're amazing now that you're clean."  But the narrator sees through to the fear and suffering that the drugs were medicating for.  It's a thing of beauty.

Peter Case and Richard Thompson image7 - "Every 24 Hours" Peter Case This song bears probably the sharpest hooks of any song he's written in a decade or so.  Moreover, the contributions of Richard Thompson really take this song to another level.  Thompson's of course noted as a fancy guitar player, but interestingly it is more his dramatic high harmony vocals that add the most to this classic Peter Case composition.


Joey Welch and the Born Again Floozies


8 - "Driving by the Penitentiary" Born Again Floozies  God and Upright Citizens abhor these Born Again Floozies, but Joey Welch is a songwritin' SOB and a serious guitar player with a unique style.  His Floozies feature tuba and tap dancing as principle instruments, and present as something of a Salvation Army band.  That plays out nicely here in this deliciously catchy little pop song as an ex-convict drives past the penitentiary and feels twangs of sentiment for the warden and the preacher who beat the devil out of him.  It is explicitly a song of thanks. 

There's a kind of ironically un-ironic approach here that the Floozies favor.  That is, they're singing something that seems like it would be an ironically distanced joke.  Whereas, Brother Welch here is expectation confoundingly ironic by the basically sincere point of thanks to authorities for even rough correction. 


9 - "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" Alison Krauss & Robert Plant Album producer T Bone Burnett got Miss Alison singing a new song written by his ex-wife Sam Phillips.  This gentle acoustic tribute to one of the all time pre-eminent female gospel singers and guitar players is just right for the upscale country to folk stylings of Miss Alison.  This works right well into CD mixes alongside Rosetta classics such as the name checked "Up Above My Head."

Donnie Davies cock blocking the Dark Lord10 -"The Bible Says"  Donnie Davies and Evening Star  If you're not listening real close, you could take this for contemporary Christian rock music, just the kind of stuff they made fun of on South Park when Cartman started his Faith+1 band.  Except that this is just better written than almost any of that stuff, and has sharper hooks and more fire in the belly.

Then when you listen a little closer, it's all about trying so hard not be gay cause "God hates fags.  If you're a fag, he hates you too."  Then you find the video with Pastor Davies in his nice pink shirt, down on his knees holding hands with a bunch of guys, and praying for strength to not be gay. 

The whole emotional dynamic of the song spins out as contrast sparking off in contradiction from one key repeated line, "being gay ain't nothing but a choice."  Then the rest of the song is the gayest thing ever in every clever little phrase, "cause Jesus my savior's the only man for me."  The whole thrust of the song is exactly to disprove the idea of "choice."

But it has a high level of palpable emotion.  In theory from the words, one might surmise it was homosexual self-hatred.  Given the obvious satirical nature of the song though (see concert poster), one would take it as a bank shot blast of ridicule at the churches that would teach people such self hatred for something that to such an extent is not fundamentally a choice.


Macy Gray in a pink wig11 - "Strange Behavior" Macy Gray On the awesome Big album, the lovely but treacly sweet sentiments of "The One for Me" twist down and segue way into "This is a story about two people in love."  This is of course the first line for Macy Gray's latest delightful Psycho Comedy number with a unique freaky seaside r&b lope, a seaside scene of unfortunate marital strife.  By the music of it, you'd about be dancing to it with your loved one in a nice vacation bungalow in the Caribbean  But then the story is complicated by big fat tempting life insurance policies. 

Funniest lyric of the year: I said 'Baby, if you get a job you would not have to shoot me now' He said, 'Oh my god, you're such a hata'

12 - "15 Steps"  Radiohead  More than anything, Radiohead seem like prime children of Pink Floyd - but then I was never all that big on Pink Floyd and getting another day closer to death and such.   I've only found a couple of songs from Radiohead that have really struck me as having memorable tunes.  This is among their best, but the lyric is mostly just meaningless gibberish.  The main useful phrase involves "15 steps then a sheer drop" and the singer ending right back where he started. 

I'll give "15 Steps" a pretty good grade for a composition, but definitely an A for record making.  Like classic Floyd, on a good day like this they weave a kind of sonic dreamscape wherein the texture is as important as the tune.  Almost makes me want to hunt down a pair of headphones to listen to this concoction properly.  These sonsabitches know how to turn a song into a record.

Plus, this has some real dynamic hooks, the kind of visceral thing that makes me start moving or dancing.  There's a physical exhilaration in this that I would not typically associate with this band - or most Pink Floyd for that matter. 

13 -"Let's Elope"  Koop  Like "Come to Me," this breezy jazz thing is from the romantic end of the Koop vision.  Like everything on this excellent Koop Island album, this sports a really tight groove.  It sure sounds like someone singing in a small intimate studio surrounded by a small orchestra, all close enough to smell each other's sweat.  One of the really intriguing things about this album is understanding that in fact, other than the vocals most of the album is made of bunches and bunches of meticulous samples.  It kinda blows my mind how Simonsson and Zingmark got these organic sounding end products out of samples.  This has a particularly nice lyric of mature romance. "Youth has gone now, but we still shine."

Rickie Lee Jones photo14 - "Tried to Be a Man" Rickie Lee Jones  The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard is apparently some kind of raw, sophisticated punk rock concept album about Jesus.  It's a Rickie Lee Jones thing.  The closest thing to explain the practical effect would be Exile on Main Street.  It's got a low, raw pulse that even the Rolling Stones would have to respect.  Unlike the Stones, Rickie seems to want to go to heaven with a sympathetic song, not even really a talking but almost a whispering  blues about how tough it was for Jesus being a man.  The lyrics are in large part poetic non-sequiters (or perhaps are more sensible if one was motivated to decipher the whole album story line), but if you're sold on the song enough to look up and parse out the lyrics, she's already got you.  This is a pretty fair little jam.

15 - "Brother Harold Dee" Porter Wagoner Porter was the last of a breed of original era country giants.  They and he could do things that just couldn't be done today.  This heavy handed morality tale recitative piece about a rejected rogue son who turns out to be a big time preacher just kills me.  These moralistic recitations were a Porter Wagoner specialty.  Porter totally sells this, but I can't imagine anyone coming up today even trying to do something like this.  Porter Wagoner just can't be replaced.

Actually,  I like this probably even better than his classic "If Jesus Came to Your House."  That he was dying of lung cancer while rasping this out only makes it work better, like ol' Porter was already seeing the view from the farside banks of Jordan.  Indistinct theological implications aside, this is a final gem in Brother Porter's crown.

16 - "As I Lay Dying" Born Again Floozies A floozy makes his peace with mortality, and imagines himself making jokes on his deathbed. Despite the idea of jokes being involved, this little meditation "Sweetheart, do you love me more than your fear of death?"  lacks the comedic edge common to a lot of their songs.  It's got a really good actual vocal melody with a lot of heart.  It's also got some excellent tuba from that no good floozy Ben Votkis, all topped off with the understated but impressive and unique guitar stylings of author and flooziest floozie Joey Welch.

Amy Winehouse smoking crack17 - "Rehab" Amy Winehouse  Miss Winehouse took a little break from drug rehab to go via satellite on the live American Grammy broadcast to sing her song about not wanting to go to rehab.  It's a really catchy old school soul song, but what really makes it great is the loving Phil Spector style production.  That's what gives it the throw weight.  This is good record making.

Still, as Stew said a couple of years back in his even better "Rehab" song about an old girlfriend, "I've seen this flick before and it gets boring."  This addiction shtick has been done to death, and she doesn't need to be dragging it out. Either get yourself a big groovy flameout death, join the ranks of stupid dead rock stars - or give the dope a rest long enough to work up some new material.  You've pretty well milked this topic, m'kay?

18 - "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" Billy Joe Shaver Billy Joe Shaver is Everybody's Brother, a key songwriter for the classic country outlaw movement.  Gospel sentiments tend to mean more coming from an old cowboy like Brother Shaver. Along with John Anderson, he conjures up a commanding slab of country gospel.  I particularly appreciate that he built up the extended quote as the principle chorus.  "Get thee behind me Satan, for I command you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth."  They work up a good proper rebuke of the Dark Lord.

19 - "Introduction to the Rat King" Ego Plum Orchestra  Mr Plum runs an outfit somewhere more in the range of classical music than anything like commercial pop music, but then he uses electric guitars and such.  This might be classified as being somewhat philosophically related to the avant end of Frank Zappa, but sounds nothing like him.  The Rat King follows some kind of damned concept, but I haven't quite felt motivated to ferret out some storyline.  I like this album pretty much, but I'd have to be really dedicated to decipher and try to connect all that.  This instrumental introduction will give you a good idea of the flavor of this record.  After a couple of listens, this started seeming really catchy in all kinds of little weird ways. 


20 - "Royal Jelly"  Dewey Cox This lovingly detailed satiric tribute to Bob Dylan really hits the spot.  This is one of the best answers to Dylan I've heard, along with classic Paul Simon and Beatle tunes.  This comes out like some demented mid 60s psychedelic folk, a "Gates of Eden" stream of consciousness thing.  The overt ridiculousness of the lyrics is a perfect mock up of the faux profundity of Dylan's vintage lyrical shell games.  That the ultimate point of the title is a childish sexual reference tops off the parody of his supposed high mindedness.

Thing is, the satire ends up being not so much ridicule as tribute.  The "Royal Jelly" song is catchy and dynamic enough to make the case for Dylan's style.  As a composition, this will stand head to head with any but maybe a very few of the likely comparable Dylan songs. 

I particularly appreciate that the composers here nailed a kind of constant underlying wagging of the finger of judgment, even in vaguely judgmental non-sequitirs like "singers bringing weeds and social clingers, hangers on and fancy flingers to the dress ball."  Then finishing perfectly with an out of the blue declaration, "You're a liar!"  Spot on, yet a beautiful and unique creation in its own rite.  Kinda cheesy in theory, but really thrilling and effective in practice - much like your finer Dylan.  It really ends up making the case for Dylan. 

21 - "Pastry Shop"  Stew  He may be a big, burly self-described "Negro problem," but Brother Stew is of course a most genteel and sensitive artiste, and now officially a Broadway composer.  This tender, flaky pastry ballad is a miniature, a purposely small bite into the agony of war.  "Loretta sent a letter from Baghdad today. It seems her favorite pastry shop's been blow away."  No one was killed, but Loretta's very sad that her favorite getaway's gone.  It's particularly beautiful how much Stew implies here with understatement.  This is how much agony comes from mere stuff getting blown up - much less all the people actually getting killed and maimed.  This is a beautiful, quiet meditation.  Despite the narrator wearily refusing to discuss politics in the last verse, this must likely count as the best anti-war song of the year.


Meg White lays down an icky thump22 - "Icky Thump" The White Stripes  This song was actually a Billboard Top 40 single, theoretically at least marginally their biggest proper American hit single.  This is some kind of freaky 60s throwback, except that I can't think of just what group or song it would specifically be throwing back to.  That primitive organ goes that way, but this doesn't sound like the Zombies or ? and the Mysterians.  It is a dirty, icky thump of a record like nothing else I can think of. 

The lyric is a little indistinct in the exact meaning of some kind of analogy being made, but it has a clear and interesting little storyline about getting robbed in some Mexican whore house.  The interesting and confusing thing is that this is somehow a commentary on US immigration policy.  After getting robbed he learned his lesson "I went home and learned how to clean up after myself." 

Those Who Know can read between the lines here, in combination with the Spanish Inquisition of "Conquest," how Jack is laying down the blueprint for the construction of the dictatorship of the proletariat.  Watch as La Raza sweeps Jack into power.

23 - "I'll Be Lightning" Liam Finn Neil Finn's boy has been in the recent lineup of his Crowded House band, which had an album last year.  This track from the boy's solo album does a lot more for me than anything I'm hearing from the old man's pen at this point, though.  This is the best new Crowded House song I've heard in a dozen years and more, with all the groovy involved Beatle-y production dynamics as good as Dad ever copped 'em.

24 - "Million Dollars Bail" Peter Case I don't know for sure that this was specifically based on the Clarkson shooting, but this story of rich man's justice has Phil Spector's name all over it.  This is one of Case's stronger tunes, and the finger picking here bears notice. 

25 - "Prickly Thorn But Sweetly Worn/St Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air)" The White Stripes  This pair of songs are essentially one.  The main first two thirds are some kind of freaky supercharged Renaissance weekend stomp about a martyr who looks good doing it.  It's a pretty tough jam for road trippin, and that only goes more so for the 100 seconds or so of  "St Andrew," which might best be described as a hyper charged psychedelic religious vision. 

Heidi Klum and Seal image26 - "Wedding Day" Seal & Heidi Klum "Today I give it all to you."  Seal and his hot new supermodel wife Heidi Klum sing their wedding vows.  This is broadly a typical Seal song, a dramatic dance track.  But this is, naturally, extra romantic and a little extra passionate, and one of his more memorable melodies.  It's primarily Seal's record, but I note that Miss Heidi holds up her end of the singing quite effectively.  As the supermodel thing slows down, maybe she'll be a more regular duet partner for the old man. 

27 - "Satan's River" Porter Wagoner  You've heard of preachin' blues, well this is a preachin' waltz.  Kinda like "Wings of a Dove" with some bite.  I love the image of the big yachts sailing down that smooth, warm river as it turns into burning hot lava.  Along with "Brother Harold Dee" this makes a great final hit in Porter's gospel archives.

28 - "What I Gotta Do" Macy Gray  This right here is a smooth old school r&b groove.  Macy gets a perfect pitch of what might be called loose, casual passion that has few equals.  This song is her lament as an absent mother, explaining her working absences and pledging her undying maternal love.  It's a catchy pop song, a dramatic dance track, and a legitimately heart touching personal sentiment.  No one else could have done this.

29 - "Come to Me"  Koop This song was featured in the spring 2007 finale of Grey's Anatomy.  This band is basically a duo plus guests and samples, featuring Oscar Simonsson and Magnus Zingmark.  I've seen the group described as "trip hop," which I can see some in places.  But while this is broadly modern European dance music, this has as much to do with Sinatra's Songs for Swinging Lovers as it does with Portishead.  This jazzy album Koop Island and definitely this song with the marimbas and general sound have some sweet Caribbean flavors.  The lovely vocal by regular guest Yukimi Nagano really makes this a romantic delight that would be fit for any classy Valentine date.

30 - "You Don't Know What Love Is" The White Stripes This basic midtempo rock song is one of the just flat out catchiest damn things Jack White ever did.  El Presidente seems like Prince in the 80s or Paul McCartney in the 60s, dropping classics every morning before breakfast.  Note the memorable statement in the ending guitar solo.  He's not just wailing away there, he's really saying something.

31 - "Friends"  Vincent Leed  This hep cat runs a little recording studio in Bakersfield.  A lot of the stuff of his I've heard sounds Beatle derivative, most obviously this midtempo Pepper-y production.  Now, I'm not saying that this song will make you forget "With a Little Help From My Friends," but if Ringo recorded this song, it'd probably be the best thing he'd done in 30 years.


They Might Be Giants32 - "Take Out the Trash"  They Might Be Giants  Their album The Else was pretty good, but mostly a bit of a disappointment to me.  It kinda sounds like they were consciously trying to write viable commercial radio material, or something like that.  But their strength and their charm have come largely from the eccentric and childlike concoctions.  They're mostly not letting their freak flag fly very high. 

However, "Take Out the Trash" in particular is pretty satisfying all around.  It's got an exceptionally sharp set of hooks, and a good vaguely menacing fuzzy guitar sound that really hits the spot.  Here in particular, they use being outside of their more childlike shelter as a good opportunity to take a little sharper bite.  "Girl, why don't you take out the trash, and when you do tell him not to come back again."

33 - "Ragoo" Kings of Leon  By rights, songs are about music, and the textual significance of lyrics is secondary.  That's how "Tutti Frutti" is a recognized classic.  The lyric of "Ragoo" looks like absolute gibberish.  But those U2 styled guitar lines against the hard reggae-rock make quite an appealing soundscape, and the tune carries all the urgent meaning that the text lacks.

34 - "Blue From Black"  Aaron McMullen  Brother McMullen is a no-good Irish sonofabitch, famously known as Osama Bin Laden's homosexual lover.  In short, he's an old pal, so perhaps I'm giving him some benefit of sentiment. Still and all, the bastard came up with nicely loping little catchy blues thing what is hard to beat.


35 - "Stronger"  Kanye West  Brother Kanye has been known to talk some smack, and he likes himself very, very much.  Nonetheless, he does have some talent.  The lyric here is largely boring rap braggadocio about his exploits with some star-humping "blonde dyke" who'll do anything for the limelight.  Musically though, this thing works completely.  The blase lyric is carried by a fairly involved and catchy tune.  Beyond which, the whole pulse of the record has a beautiful high dance floor drama, and great dynamics, building up in waves.  It's a compelling jam. 

36 - "Hotwired" Porter Wagoner  I don't know anything of these listed songwriters, but they certainly wrote a sharp song with a strong central image of the hot little hotwire artist hotwiring everything in sight, including the police car and of course the narrator's heart.  Porter was on his last legs when he recorded this, but he really puts the lust of the song across.  This tramp was apparently hot enough to make at least an almost dead man come.  Plus, Marty Stuart and the Wagonmasters put the heat to this with old school Porter picking. They "get the whole durned place a-rockin like the doggone Rolling Stones."  Vintage Porter had some pretty slammin' stuff, like "Slewfoot."  This was an excellent last entry for that rockin' part of his catalog.

37 - "Conquest"  The White Stripes  This may be the slammingest rock song of the Icky Thump album, give or take the preaching "Catch Hell Blues."  The nasty guitars come drenched in Spanish horns like the dating game is being played as an extra violent bullfight, with a simple innocent pickup turning tragically into marriage.  I was digging this a lot before I got the freaky part.  This is not a Jack White original, but a Patti Page cover. 

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant image38 - "Fortune Teller" Alison Krauss & Robert Plant This is a decent song, but an excellent record.  It's a basic snaky blues in which the lead singer for Zeppelin takes a mostly acoustic jam about falling under the spell of a hot fortune teller.  Somewhere between him and Miss Alison and producer T Bone Burnett, they whipped up a pretty sweet little sonic pie.  This one seems to be mostly Plant's song, but Miss Alison does add some nice vocal harmonies on behalf of the sexy fortune teller.

39 - "Dear Mr President"  Dewey Cox  In Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, a movie parody of music biopics, the simple country boy tries on a good many styles, most obviously Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.  In the midst of that is this basic folk protest song, an open letter to the "so-called commander-in-chief."   This simple but fairly catchy tune really starts perfectly with "Dear Mr President I want you to know I am deeper than you, listen and learn.  My heart is a chapel, my head is a steeple.  My arms are the people and the people now yearn."  That's actually a well turned lyric, and very effective in combination with the earnest tune in putting a zing to the picture they paint of the childish self-righteousness of many protest songs.  That's just right how they took a minor nursery rhyme ("This is the church, and this is the steeple..."), pumped it up slightly and made the singer himself the holy church, and then present it as Great Profundity.

40 - "Walking" Born Again Floozies The floozies have a lot of cool stuff going on in their songwriting, arrangement and performance.  Their special ace in the hole though is the unique personal guitar picking style with which Joey Welch fills out his songs.  The nearest thing that comes to mind to compare his understatedly passionate style with is Chet Atkins, but he doesn't sound anything like him  This quiet and contemplative instrumental closes their excellent full length debut album, 7 Deadly Sinners.  Hearing this, I can imagine Brother Joey walking quickly and quietly through the woods as his mind is full of intense joy and wonder.  It's a thing of beauty and wondrous delight.




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