Thursday, September 18, 2014

Band Review: Bill Madden

Bill Madden recently released a new album, New Religion, so this seemed like a good time for a review.

One thing I have found is that I am not relaxed listening to the music. I feel more on edge. I think this is due at least partly to some of the higher sound registers that are accessed, but it occurred to me that this may also be for the best. Madden's Twitter handle is Activist 360, and there is a strong activist bent to many of the songs. Perhaps listening should be uncomfortable.

In general I responded better to his 2008 release, Child of the Same God. It's a little more rock-oriented, though with a strong folk influence. One of the songs the struck me more there was "Bosko and Admira". I had noticed it for the tune, but watching the video I learned it was based on the true story of a Muslim and Serbian couple who died during the conflict.

The video shows the lyrics, along with general art and photos of the couple and their news coverage. On one level it heightens the very simplistic lyrics, which could be a drawback, but at the same time it puts a face on the conflict, reminding us that every statistic of a tragedy is a person, and so it becomes emotionally affecting, and the most effective of his videos.

I do think fans of X Ambassadors would like this music, and my favorite track, "Save Is From Ourselves", reminds me a little of Roy Orbison and the Traveling Wilburys, so those fans should check it out as well.

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