It's a funny thing - freedom of speech. Speak (or sing) your mind and these days you are likely to be detained under anti terrorist legislation. It is therefore gratifying to see that the protest singer still survives even in the tortured form of Ralph Buckley. His whole world is a whirlwind of conspiracy, oppression and paranoia in the land of the free.
"The Man be Watchin' U" expresses his disgust at the erosion of personal freedom and makes the very valid point that anti terrorism legislation ends up controlling the individual and not the intended terrorist forces. "Morphine" seems altogether more personal and comes across like a dark, twisted nightmare. There is no love like the love a man has for his drugs apparently. Every album needs a love song and he delivers a good one even if it is about an unsavoury subject. The war in the Middle East gets the treatment in "Fuck the War" as he exposes the hypocrisy of it all with sound bites from a certain American president. We have noted that wars tend to be started by old men and in these days of Viagra, Bluesbunny wonders if the little blue pill would not be a better way for these aged gentlemen to "get it on" than sending soldiers to their death. Maybe it is like Ralph says in the title track to this album in that it is actually all about the money. "God's Tears are Everywhere" is a more conventional sixties style protest song seasoned with a Lennonesque flavour that just washes over you. You have probably guessed that our Ralph has little time for a certain Mr Bush but he has taken the time to write a delightful ditty dedicated to him ("Dear Mr Bush") that suggests that dear old Mr Bush has entirely corrupt values. The thing that impressed the Bluesbunny about Ralph Buckley is that he does not pull his punches especially on our pick of the album "The Politics of War and Murder". He makes little effort to sugar coat things making this album an uncomfortable listen at times but the truth is the truth and these days it takes a strong man to speak it.
What's next in the good old US of A? Using the fear of terrorism as a lever, will the constitution of that great country be replaced with prescriptive guidance? Freedom of speech will get sidelined in the name of national security and the day might come when not liking Pepsi will get you locked up as a subversive. Ralph Buckley seems to think so and, unfortunately, he might well be right. You can buy the album at CD Baby.