Monday, April 17, 2006

T Bone Burnett - The Criminal Under My Own Hat


T Bone Burnett is so well known now as a producer of groups such as Los Lobos, Marshall Crenshaw, The BoDeans, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack that many people probably don't know that he has made some excellent albums on his own. It goes without saying that his solo records, at least the two I have, are very well arranged and produced.

The Criminal Under My Own Hat is my favorite of his and it is filled with so many great songs that it was hard for me to pick just two for posting. The record is a very nice balance of folk and rock influences supporting his witty lyrical obsessions about lust, greed and pride so prelevant in our species. It just as easily could have been made last week rather than in 1992. I guess we don't change much do we?

Here is the dark acoustic folk tune, with a great walking bass line, called It's Not Too Late that was co-written by Elvis Costello and Bob Neuwirth (co-producer) and the pop/rocker I Can Explain Everything featuring some nice biting guitar from Marc Ribot that "skewers" both politicians and preachers.

I have a suggestion in answer to the question
How can we make the world easier to bear
We could go on a mission to get all politicians
And preachers off of the air


Cause when you're talking to that many people at one time
You're bound to be lying to someone at some time
So let's band together and cause a collision
And throw all these liars off television


I can explain everything

How can anyone spend six million dollars every four years
to get a job that makes sixty thousand per?
How can a man stand straight-faced with tears in his eyes
And plead for millions when his motives are a blur?


The genius of France can be seen at a glance
And it's not in their fabled fashion scene
It's not that they're mean or their wine or cuisine
I refer of course to the guillotine


(The French knew how to lynch)

Next month he has another record coming out called The True False Identity and judging the song titles I would say he is slightly disturbed by the current state of world affairs. How could you not be?

Buy it here.
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