Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album of the Day 8/25/10

Every day, we count down the 1000 best albums of all time all the way to #1. Wednesday’s album is #888:

Black 47 – Iraq

Our pick for best album of 2008, this rivals anything the Clash ever did. Black 47 frontman Larry Kirwan is also a novelist and playwright, with a terrific ear for dialogue. The album succeeds as well as it does as an antiwar statement because it simply recounts the daily stress of combat as seen through the eyes of the American soldiers there. Some are profiteers, but a lot of them ended up over there because the promise of a payday was better than anything they could get here. Now they can’t wait to leave, they’re scared as hell, and not a little disillusioned. Kirwan doesn’t preach: he lets their anxiety and dread speak for itself. Over catchy, anthemic, Celtic- or blues-tinged rock, Kirwan offers an eyewitness view of the war that the corporate media types “embedded” with the soldiers were never allowed to depict: the guy from Brooklyn who finds himself shocked by the natural beauty of the Iraqi desert; the embittered, cynical GI who can’t wait to get home to watch his beloved San Diego Padres; a heartwrenching account of Cindy Sheehan’s transformation from war supporter to iconic antiwar activist following the death of her son; and finally, the savage Battle of Fallujah, whose narrator leaves no doubt that “If there’s a draft you know damn well yourself this war would be over by dawn…your tax dollars can go to building it all back over again.” What Frankenchrist by the Dead Kennedys was to 1985, what Wallace ’48 by the Hangdogs was to 2002, Iraq by Black 47 was to 2008: an important historical work that also happened to have some good tunes.

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August 25, 2010 - Posted by | irish music, lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. “Rivals anything the Clash ever did” ???

    Oh come on.

    Comment by adamannette | August 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. You have obviously have never seen them live. Yes, rivals anything the Clash ever did, if for nothing more than the passion and meaning in each of their songs. Black47 is much more versatile and has much more interesting music than The Clash did, and I loved the Clash. As far as IRAQ goes, the *fans* who were over there and wrote letters back home to Black47 helped inspire this CD. Its one of my favorites of theirs. Listen to the entire CD and it weaves a story. Each song related to the other. Its amazingly good.

    Comment by Laureth | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thanks Lauren, I will!

    Comment by adamannette | August 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. I MEAN LAURETH!

    Comment by adamannette | August 30, 2010 | Reply


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