Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
One-percenters beware: Todd Snider names names, or comes close to it, anyhow. The Portland, Ore.-born singer’s dealt with his own drug addiction, legal troubles and social issues on his previous nine albums; here he squares off against bankers, bilkers, junk bonders, money hoarders, anyone who’s run amok and came out with more mustard in his jar while the system crashed. The music’s hardscrabble and electric, and Snider sings in a raw drawl-y singspeak. “I came to the day I had waited on,” he sings on “New York Banker,” “just to find out all the money in our pension was gone / reinvested in something called the Abacus bond.” The protagonist finds out the bond was born to fail, “built so that banker could bet his bread against it / when the housing market crashed, our retirement did too.” He populates Agnostic Hymns by voices other than his own; he’s not alone in this, so beware. It’s as populist a record as anything Springsteen or Steve Earle ever did, and it’s also funny as hell, in a sick, depressing, pit-of-your-stomach kind of way.
CD of the Week: Todd Snider, 'Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables'
Todd Snider's Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables (Aimless)