Top positive review
Return to Todd's early style, which I welcome enthusiastically...
April 7, 2019
I became a Snider fan back in 1994 when I bought his album "Songs for the Daily Planet." I loved that one almost totally. Then I bought Step Right Up, Viva Satellite, Happy to Be Here, New Connection, Near Truths and Hotel Rooms and East Nashville Skyline. Each of those collections had more songs I liked than tracks I did not. Somewhere in this fandom, the tail end of 2001, I believe, I saw his one-man concert at the Blue Door saloon in Lubbock, TX. Loved that also. But after the first seven discs I began to hear things from him that were, to me, failed rock and roll, and songs that were too weird for my taste (I am 74 now, so I have been always much older than Todd's expected audience.) So I haven't bought a Snider product in a decade or so. Until now. Put him in Johnny Cash's studio and tell me he is back to folky satirical protest and plaintive love tales and I cannot resist. However, I clipped one star off the maximum review because, as a cranky old man, I don't like it when in several songs, I cannot clearly understand the word Todd sings, and there are no lyrics in the booklet. I had that trouble with a Nancy Griiffith CD about ten years ago. It had great songs on it, but she slurred some of the words in a way I thought too lazy and disrespectful. Have not invested in her work since, but I loved her once. I think if the song has any words, we deserved to hear them pronounced clearly and correctly every single time. This album of Todd's is not ruined by his occasional mumble, but is to me a tiny irritant. And I do not like CD's with the "f" word or the "bs" phrase as part of songs, either. And that happens once or twice on "Cash Cabin" as well. On the other hand, the CD booklet here explains how hard Todd worked to make the songs seem spontaneous and fresh, and they do. While I think this new one rates one star less than his "Daily Planet" and "Near Truths" recordings of long ago, that's does not mean this is not worth the purchase price if you like Todd at all. I felt really good hearing that voice, and his instrumental work here is just wonderful. I've listened to my purchase four times now, and I don't really have a favorite track...all of them deserve repeat listening, because Snider is a thinker, a skilled picker, a croaking sincere singer, and a long-time music world survivor. I have some confidence that when I've listened without distraction, and probably with earphones, several times, I'll give him that fifth star.