Feature

Ry Cooder: Election Special

Even listeners who don’t share Cooder's liberal views will likely appreciate the tunesmithing and virtuoso playing on Election Special.

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Ry Cooder’s new collection of political songs could provide “one-stop shopping” if a revived Occupy Wall Street ever needs a soundtrack, said Sarah Rodman in The Boston Globe. But even listeners who don’t share the storied guitarist’s liberal views will likely appreciate the tunesmithing and virtuoso playing on this 21st-century protest album. He delivers his jabs with a backbeat, some irresistible slide guitar, and a wry sense of humor. Not only is this Cooder’s “most overtly political album,” it’s the “most organic record he’s issued in almost two decades,” said Thom Jurek in AllMusic.com. Cooder uses “American traditional musics—raw blues, folk, and roots rock”—to paint a portrait of an America that makes him mad as hell. Aside from the drums and backing vocals, he does virtually all the work himself—handling guitars, bass, mandolin, and production duties. No seasonal gimmick, this album “restores protest music to a bona fide place in American cultural life.”

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