12 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for his tough-minded rocker diatribes against societal ills and poignant ballads that never settle for cheap sentiment, Graham Parker settles into singer-songwriter mode for 2007’s Don’t Tell Columbus. Parker sees the song form as short story writing for the attention deficit crowd. “I Discovered America” is the Brit’s reserved acceptance of his adopted homeland. “England’s Latest Clown” observes that when it comes to rock n’ roll celebrity there’s always a latest model willing to sacrifice himself at the altar of self-destruction. “Stick to the Plan” evaluates the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina with a head-shaking wonderment and the album’s jauntiest groove. Though Parker made his name with tough R&B arrangements that pit electric guitars against walls of keyboards, his most successful later work has been quieter in tone — acoustic guitars with a warm organ rolling in. “The Other Side of the Reservoir” recalls the bittersweet swooning of the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” during its elongated fade. “Love or Delusion” works its way to a Van Morrison-esque climax with the word “love” becoming the repeated mantra, as Parker shows off his peak vocal form.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for his tough-minded rocker diatribes against societal ills and poignant ballads that never settle for cheap sentiment, Graham Parker settles into singer-songwriter mode for 2007’s Don’t Tell Columbus. Parker sees the song form as short story writing for the attention deficit crowd. “I Discovered America” is the Brit’s reserved acceptance of his adopted homeland. “England’s Latest Clown” observes that when it comes to rock n’ roll celebrity there’s always a latest model willing to sacrifice himself at the altar of self-destruction. “Stick to the Plan” evaluates the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina with a head-shaking wonderment and the album’s jauntiest groove. Though Parker made his name with tough R&B arrangements that pit electric guitars against walls of keyboards, his most successful later work has been quieter in tone — acoustic guitars with a warm organ rolling in. “The Other Side of the Reservoir” recalls the bittersweet swooning of the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” during its elongated fade. “Love or Delusion” works its way to a Van Morrison-esque climax with the word “love” becoming the repeated mantra, as Parker shows off his peak vocal form.

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