Bender: Songs for the Red States
So much of our lives are wrapped up in a dichotomy. Do you vote red or blue? Is your glass half full or half empty? Is your faith or your behavior more important on judgement day? And then there are other questions. How do you react if your girlfriend comes home with a full body makeover? Do you have a perfect soul-mate? Will my new guitar make me sound like Jimi Hendrix? You're pregnant??? New Hampshire singer and guitarist Jonathan Whitcomb takes a break from his band Emery's Misery to address these questions with this enigmatic solo album. But rather than preaching his opinions he adopts entertaining and somewhat skewed points of view to explore. Hence the title 'Bender'. The 'Songs for the Red States' address paths to personal salvation and dating someone with opposing political beliefs. And then there's 'All You Liberal Bastards', which would certainly qualify as a red state song. There is some of Emery's Misery's signature melodic indy rock sound here as well as hints of folk, celtic, ragtime, dixieland and alt-country. Just when you think you've got a handle on where this album is going it changes direction. If you're tired of buying CDs where all the songs sound the same, this will be a welcome change. While the styles and topics cover a lot of ground there is a flow here. You aren't jerked from style to style, rather pulled along by the songwriter's muse (even if at times that muse appears unfocused). Listen to the sound clips at the top left of this page! There are even more song samples at the RedStateSongs.com web site (click on the link to the left) along with song lyrics, Jonathan's blog and more. You'll find lots to like, no matter what color state you live in.