"As the rivers run over their banks . . . there's nowhere for a poor boy to hide," Chuck Prophet sings over the Stonesy riffage of the title song of his new album. This poor boy's answer to tough times is to keep rocking, which Prophet has done with distinction since the `80s, first as guitarist for the great Green on Red and now on his own. ¡Let Freedom Ring! is Prophet's personalized take on the state of the nation, mixing bracing guitar-rockers and soulful, contemplative ballads. With numbers like the wrenching immigrant's tale "Barely Exist," it's not always a pretty picture. Prophet, however, still manages to end on a hopeful note with "Leave the Window Open," his unabashed appreciation for life matched by the meaning he gives it with his sharp, unsparing music.