Todd Snider: The Excitement Plan

Over the course of his career, Todd Snider’s gained a well-deserved reputation as something of a smart-ass, an artist who apparently can’t resist the temptation to mingle his sentiment with satire, much the same as Kinky Friedman, Randy Newman, Shel Silverstein and other musicians known for their humor and chutzpah. Snider’s last effort, the obviously irreverent Peace Queer EP, found that line between sarcasm and sincerity all the more difficult to discern, and even though The Excitement Plan has Snider turning somewhat introspective, its also clear that his tongue is still situated comfortably in his cheek. Even so, Snider seems to be plowing his roots, turning down the amps and relying primarily on acoustic guitar, piano and harp for a steady, bluesy shuffle. The rustic appeal brings to mind more esteemed musical masters like J.J. Cale and Dr. John, but when he opts for a weathered and reflective perspective – as on “Greencastle Blues” and “Corpus Christi Bay” – the music becomes unexpectedly endearing. Happily, Snider’s observations are as wry as ever – borne out by the trippy tale of the ballplayer who pitched a no-hitter zonked on acid (“America’s Favorite Pastime”), an amiable diatribe on the spoils of success (“Money, Compliments, Publicity”) and a rambling lament about a shiftless spouse (“Barefoot Champagne”). Whether or not The Excitement Plan is as energized as its title suggests may be a matter of debate, but there’s no denying the lure of these entertaining observations. (Yep Roc)

Todd Snider MySpace page

  

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