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Todd Snider “Peace Queer” Mega Force

by Brad Tucker

Listening to Todd Snider’s back-catalogue gives one the impression that he has extremely varied tastes in music, and that he is greatly affected by whatever he is listening to. At different times he is contemporary pop country, straight folk, John Prine, or Tom Petty. There are moments on his 1994 debut, Songs for the Daily Planet, where Snider sounds destined for the top of country music charts. 14 years later, it is clear that he refuses to bow to any label (he’s on his fifth) and is even less willing to lock himself into one genre. With the release of Peace Queer, his eighth studio album, Snider continues to draw on political and ethical lyrical subjects, while straying further from his rock leanings than usual. To call this a quiet album is an understatement. Snider even strips down Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic protest “Fortunate Son” into a finger picked softy that is equally affecting, even without John Fogerty’s scathing vocals. Winning the battle but losing the war is smartly measured, once in the spoken word “Is Thing Working?” and later in the album’s closer, “Is This Thing On,” a musical arrangement of the same lyrics. Snider’s past critics have pointed to his sometimes contrived lyrics, his sometimes derivative sounds, and his sometimes incomplete albums. Here Snider avoids all of these pitfalls. The eight tracks on this album are smartly written and minimally produced. Snider left out anything that could be construed as filler and lyrically he never stops growing. It is a solid release for a seasoned veteran and will be greatly received by fans. There are a few messages behind Peace Queer, but keep in mind that “Fighting for peace, that’s like screaming for quiet.”

Todd Snider - Peace Queer

Todd Snider - Peace Queer

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