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Ry Cooder's "Election Special" Earns Four Stars from Rolling Stone: "Protest Music Delivered with a Patriot's Gifts"

  • Tuesday, August 21, 2012
    Ry Cooder's "Election Special" Earns Four Stars from Rolling Stone: "Protest Music Delivered with a Patriot's Gifts"

    Ry Cooder’s new album, Election Special, a wake-up call for the 2012 US election, is out today in North America, following its release in the UK yesterday to great critical acclaim, with four-star reviews from Mojo, the GuardianIndependent, and more. On the album, which he produced, Cooder plays mandolin, guitar, and bass and wrote all of the songs, co-writing one with Joachim Cooder, who plays drums on the record. Now, with its US release, Election Special earns a four-star review from Rolling Stone, which exclaims: "A guitar great takes a shot at political satire and hits the mark." Writes Rolling Stone music critic David Fricke: "Election Special is protest music delivered with a patriot’s gifts—the American-roots beauty and expert fire in Ry Cooder’s playing—and long memory." Read the complete review at rollingstone.com.

    Election Special earns four stars from MSN as well, where the album is streaming in full all week in the MSN Music Listening Booth. Cooder spoke with MSN Music's Sam Sutherland for a feature article that examines the new album and the larger context of Cooder's life and career from which it comes.

    "After a far-ranging career that suggests a musical odyssey across different cultures and eras, Ry Cooder could bask in his lengthy résumé," writes Sutherland. "Instead, the veteran multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer has returned to early, deep roots in American folk to forge the most impassioned music of his 50-year career, an album, Election Special, built from original broadsides, blues and de facto barricade anthems fed by the bitter polarity of a national campaign year."

    Read the article and listen to the album at music.msn.com.

    Pop Matters rates the album a nine out of ten. "The music is the same basic mix of folk and blues that Cooder made his mark with, not that far removed from touchstones like [Woody] Guthrie and [Robert] Johnson," writes reviewer Jeff Schwager. "The stories are likewise timeless, though they are very much of this time in their details." Read the complete review at popmatters.com.

    The Boston Globe's Sarah Rodman writes: "Cooder is mad as hell, but because he’s a virtuoso with a wry sense of humor that balances indignation and despair, the songs stand as songs, not just soapbox speechifying,"

    To pick up a copy of Election Special, head to the Nonesuch Store, where, for a limited time, CD and vinyl orders include an exclusive campaign-style button and bumper sticker.

on August 21, 2012 - 3:11pm
Excerpt: 

Ry Cooder’s new album, Election Special is out now in the US. "A guitar great takes a shot at political satire and hits the mark," exclaims Rolling Stone in a four-star review. "Election Special is protest music delivered with a patriot’s gifts—the American-roots beauty and expert fire in Ry Cooder’s playing—and long memory." The album earns four stars from MSN as well, where it is streaming in full this week. Cooder, says MSN, "has returned to early, deep roots in American folk to forge the most impassioned music of his 50-year career."

Copy: 

Ry Cooder’s new album, Election Special, a wake-up call for the 2012 US election, is out today in North America, following its release in the UK yesterday to great critical acclaim, with four-star reviews from Mojo, the GuardianIndependent, and more. On the album, which he produced, Cooder plays mandolin, guitar, and bass and wrote all of the songs, co-writing one with Joachim Cooder, who plays drums on the record. Now, with its US release, Election Special earns a four-star review from Rolling Stone, which exclaims: "A guitar great takes a shot at political satire and hits the mark." Writes Rolling Stone music critic David Fricke: "Election Special is protest music delivered with a patriot’s gifts—the American-roots beauty and expert fire in Ry Cooder’s playing—and long memory." Read the complete review at rollingstone.com.

Election Special earns four stars from MSN as well, where the album is streaming in full all week in the MSN Music Listening Booth. Cooder spoke with MSN Music's Sam Sutherland for a feature article that examines the new album and the larger context of Cooder's life and career from which it comes.

"After a far-ranging career that suggests a musical odyssey across different cultures and eras, Ry Cooder could bask in his lengthy résumé," writes Sutherland. "Instead, the veteran multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer has returned to early, deep roots in American folk to forge the most impassioned music of his 50-year career, an album, Election Special, built from original broadsides, blues and de facto barricade anthems fed by the bitter polarity of a national campaign year."

Read the article and listen to the album at music.msn.com.

Pop Matters rates the album a nine out of ten. "The music is the same basic mix of folk and blues that Cooder made his mark with, not that far removed from touchstones like [Woody] Guthrie and [Robert] Johnson," writes reviewer Jeff Schwager. "The stories are likewise timeless, though they are very much of this time in their details." Read the complete review at popmatters.com.

The Boston Globe's Sarah Rodman writes: "Cooder is mad as hell, but because he’s a virtuoso with a wry sense of humor that balances indignation and despair, the songs stand as songs, not just soapbox speechifying,"

To pick up a copy of Election Special, head to the Nonesuch Store, where, for a limited time, CD and vinyl orders include an exclusive campaign-style button and bumper sticker.

Publish date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 12:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
Ry Cooder: "Election Special" [cover]

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