Monday, November 14, 2016

Becky Warren -- War Surplus

One of my immediate reactions when I heard news of the election was that Trump is going to send my students (those who have enlisted and who are yet to) off to war and get them killed. Becky Warren's War Surplus came to mind. When they do make it home (and God willing, they will), War Surplus doesn't paint a rosy picture.

First of all -- holy cow. Where has Becky Warren been? This is some of the best songwriting I've heard all year. Listening to "Dive Bar Sweetheart" sent off an internal stream of laudatory swearing -- her wit is just so effortless and her delivery so cool. It's that wordplay that could turn a cynical remark in anybody's hands into an emotionally devastating moment in Warren's. The album is inspired by Warren's own experience with her veteran husband, but at the end of the day, the war seems almost a secondary backdrop to the everyday traumas that civilians face. Country songs are populated by self-destructive people from all kinds of experiences. At the end of the day, the album suggests (at least to me) that while war itself may be unimaginable, the lingering pain is universal -- and that should give all of us empathy for each other.

Becky Warren -- Official, Facebook, Purchase

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