Ry Cooder's New Album Earns Four Stars from Guardian, Independent, More: "Entertaining, Thoughtful, Bravely Original" (Guardian)
Ry Cooder’s new album, Election Special, is out this week, released today in the UK and Ireland and tomorrow in North America on Perro Verde / Nonesuch Records. The album, a wake-up call as the US heads into the 2012 fall election season, has previously been named Album of the Month by Uncut and earned four stars from Mojo, which says that Cooder "has proved equal to the crying need of the times." Now, with its UK release today, Election Special has received several new four-star reviews, from the Guardian, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Financial Times, and Scotland on Sunday, as well as the Irish Times.
"After last year's magnificent Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, Ry Cooder returns to the political arena with a vengeance as the race for the White House intensifies," writes the Guardian's Robin Denselow. "The anger, protest and concern is made all the more effective through his use of humour and unexpectedly upbeat melodies." Denselow sums up the album thus: "An entertaining, thoughtful and bravely original set." Read the complete four-star review at guardian.co.uk.
Both the Independent and the Independent on Sunday give the album four stars. "With Election Special, Ry Cooder extends the outraged political perspective of last year’s outstanding Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down into election year, with another set of what he called that album’s 'simple tools for citizens under siege,'" writes Independent reviewer Andy Gill. "But with the clock ticking down to 6 November, the tone here is more robust than that album’s thoughtful reflections on history and poverty, taking its cue rather from the ribald pillorying of conservatives in tracks like 'No Banker Left Behind' and 'I Want My Crown.'" Nick Coleman, Gill's colleague at the Independent on Sunday, suggests: " You might even argue that this and its predecessors, My Name Is Buddy (2007) and Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (2011), represent the most cogent work of his long career."
Cooder "stepped on the artistic gas with the release of his so-called California Trilogy (2005-2008), then last year his Guthrie-esque Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down took another smart turn," writes the Irish Times' Joe Breen. "Now as the US presidential election nears, Cooder’s new album offers his take on matters political in an impressive series of vignettes ... It’s vintage stuff, Cooder’s singing and guitar-playing consistently striking home." Read more at irishtimes.com.
Back in the United States, where Election Special is out tomorrow, both it and its predecessor, Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, are cited in a New York Times opinion piece in yesterday's Sunday Times by Lawrence Downes, who argues, during this year's celebrations of Woody Guthrie's centenary, for a fuller appreciation of Guthrie's life and music, not least his more challenging ideas and protest songs. Cooder's latest songs, Downes suggests, follow in that tradition. Read the article and listen to songs from the two albums at nytimes.com.
To reserve a copy of Election Special on CD and vinyl, head to the Nonesuch Store now, where pre-orders include an exclusive campaign-style button and bumper sticker and an instant download of the album's opening track, "Mutt Romney Blues."