Thursday, November 5, 2009

Propaganda (1974)

Kimono My House part two, basically. A little weaker, perhaps, but only a little, and when I'm listening to it, it's easy to convince myself that it is in fact better. There's "B.C.," which opens with the lines "My name's Aaron, my wife's Betty, and our boy's a Charlie, so the neighbors sing 'hooray for ABC!'" I do not have the critical vocabulary to even begin to discuss the sort of strangeness that lyrics like this display. But it's great! The song is about the dissolution of the relationship in question, and don't think it ignores the title's "Before Christ" connotation.

Then there's a song like "Thanks but No Thanks," where a kid is forced to deal with the deadly specter of the oft-warned of Strangers. It is cool. And "Bon Voyage," a jaunty little number that turns out to be surprisingly grim, sung as it is by animals who are being left off the ark. "At Home, At Work, At Play," "Don't Leave Me Alone with Her," and "Reinforcements" are also all BIG WINNERS.

"Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth" gets its own paragraph because it may well be Ron's lyrical pinnacle. It's a short song, but you could subject the lyrics to endless analysis. Natural disaster? Environmentalism? Betrayal? Jealousy? Infidelity? Even the title is polysemic. And the swooping, swoony tune doesn't hurt either.

Yeah, you need this album.

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