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the instincts of a svelte cheetah

The Vinyl Princess

¡Let Freedom Ring!

Chuck Prophet rarely disappoints and ¡Let Freedom Ring! is no exception. Once again, Chuck proves he's got singing chops, goo-gobs of guitar playing skills, charm to spare, fashion sense, and the instincts of a svelte cheetah when it comes to producing. Prophet and his crew recorded his ninth solo CD at a studio in Mexico City (yeah, all the cool kids are recording there now) during a swine flu outbreak. More burritos for them, I guess—"them" being guitarist Tom Ayres, bassist Rusty Miller and drummer Ernest "Boom" Carter. Chuck's phrasing has always reminded me of Lou Reed's, sort of half talking, half singing, always meaning it. He also seems to favor the ladies in the background singing the la-las and the yeah-yeahs. I like the way he exhibits a What's the god damn hurry? attitude in the way he delivers a song. I really love "American Man"—Chuck sounds a bit like Tom Petty on this one but with a lot more edge. "What Can A Mother Do?" is hilarious lyrically ("She was unwanted in seventeen states with the engine light on and Alaskan plates") and really tuneful. I also love the rhythmic "Good Time Crowd," which features really cool vintage instrumentation and vocals. Wrapping up the album, "Leave The Window Open" is plaintive and gorgeous. "I don't want this day to end, I don't care if it rains," he sings.

Yeah, like that. Go, Chuck.

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November 23, 2009 COMMENTS • Filed under CD Reviews (¡Let Freedom Ring!)