Bill Madden, "Gone" (MadMuse) - The ability to make a socio-political statement without sounding preachy or condescending is not easy. Bill Madden accomplished this with his third full-length album "Gone."
For the project, Madden recruited multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Mohler of The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex and together they explore themes ranging from ...(展开全部) Bill Madden, "Gone" (MadMuse) - The ability to make a socio-political statement without sounding preachy or condescending is not easy. Bill Madden accomplished this with his third full-length album "Gone."
For the project, Madden recruited multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Mohler of The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex and together they explore themes ranging from corporate greed and environmental destruction, "Gone" and "What in the World," to alluring and haunting odes of paramours past, "Might Have Been" and "Awful Good."
What's striking about "Gone" and different from his 2004 album, "Samsara's Grip," is Madden's singing. More restrained and at ease, he no longer seems to be an uninvited guest in my own skin, which he achingly laments on the love ballad to his God, "Mi Vida Es."
The album opens with "Weight of His Words," a cautionary tale, warning the listener to beware of false prophets and would be kings (politicians?) who eventually have to answer for their words. The song order is obviously well thought out with "Weight of His Words" followed paradoxically by "Path of the Heart," a sweet and tender story of awakening and enlightenment, which along with the Zen allegory, "Art of Being," provide the requisitory spiritual element that is a familiar motif in Madden's music.
Given Madden's fondness for Dylan Thomas, one may assume the song "Friend" might have been inspired by the Thomas poem, "To Others Than You." In "Friend" we find the protagonist betrayed by his most trusted of friends as Madden sings, You had my confidence then you sold me down; A winding river of no return; Now your matchstick barge of deception burns; And sinks beneath the wake… of your betrayal. Madden is not only up to the task of matching the lyrical wit of his hero's poem, but with the howling Hammond B3 organ of Jason Halbert, ironically, it's the other Dylan that this ballad owes an even closer kinship.
"Dangerous Game" is the album's most chilling track. It begins with a solitary Madden fingering a nylon string guitar. In the song's progression, he's eventually accompanied by Jimmy Chamberlin Complex/Abandoned Pools alumnus, Sean Woolstenhulme, whose sublime mayhem on electric guitar evokes an explosive hell realm of Fallujah-esque sound and imagery. By the end of the sonic assault, there is little doubt, the fuse has been lit with no easy way out.
"Everything and That" provides the perfect ending to the album. Ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin pounds out a relentless pseudo-tribal rhythm that mixes gloriously with Jason Halbert's B3 organ, the violin of Ludvig Girdland and cello of Cameron Stone in a unique cacophony in what can only be described as psychedelic hillbilly. As Madden wails in a slapback-soaked vocal, Welcome to the crusade; Get ready, here we come, we are introduced to an unapologetic, modern day Orwellian nightmare aimed directly at the current administration. The empire burns and The mantra goes om. Indeed!
"Gone" is an album that far from the typical protest songs of today, not only manages to pay homage to the great songwriters of the 60's and early 70's, but aspires to resurrect ideas of change where corporate and political condemnation meet social responsibility, hope and optimism. In Madden's world, spirit outshines the darkness of desperation. "Gone" is a stunning effort.