250 word album review: Marc Ribot – Songs of Resistance 1942-2018

Marc Ribot - Songs of Resistance 1942 - 2018

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Marc Ribot’s album “Songs of Resistance 1972 – 2018” is a compilation. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s look at one of the most powerful protest albums in recent memory.

Ribot enlists many of his big name acquaintances for this record, we are talking the clout of Steve Earle and Tom Waits. Ribot has an impressively vast range of abilities ranging from rock to folk to avant-garde guitar work and he unfurls it all here. There are guests on nearly every song from rap to folk and while the musical concentration is constantly shifting the focus of the record does not. The Tom Waits bellow on “Bella Ciao” is expectedly entrancing but the Steve Earle sung “Srinivas” outdoes it as the extremely political Earle powers his way through the first of his two appearances on this record. “The Militant Ecologist” is a slow burning song with tempered rage but the best song here is a moment when Ribot hogs the spotlight for himself. On “The Big Fool” the music builds and creates tension as Ribot howls over it like the ghost of Joe Strummer. It’s just the best of many good songs here and serves as an undeniable highlight.

“Songs of Resistance” is a surprisingly focused record in content considering the amount of musical shifts. The famous sideman Ribot really pulled a lot of influences together to make a powerful political album in an era that is shocking sparse of them.

Key Tracks: “The Big Fool” “Srinivas” “Bella Ciao”

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