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Dan Bern
MY COUNTRY II EP
(MESSENGER)

Dan Bernís wit and wisdom serve him well on this politically charged departure EP; he transcends its context while maintaining a refreshingly unapologetic attitude. Set against a traditional folk landscape fueled by his able band, the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, the opening "President" is a humorous tale that puts Bern in the White House. After that, itís all kidding aside, as he pulls apart our nationís sorry state of affairs piece by piece, moving beyond politics to expose some aspects of American modern living that feed our political shortcomings. "Ostrich Town" examines our collective apathy toward critical thinking; the Dylan-esque "Sammyís Bat" weaves a metaphor around Sammy Sosaís corked bat. "Tyranny" is a straight-ahead rocker thatís rich with clanging, country-tinged guitar licks. The title track borrows both its new-wave-meets-reggae motif and its vocal phrasing from early, "angry-young-man"-era Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. The disc is capped off with the no-nonsense "Bush Must Be Defeated," which though it didnít get the job done sports some bitingly humorous rhymes.

By Christopher John Treacy


Issue Date: December 3 - 9, 2004
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