Todd Snider’s new album, Peace Queer is a halfway hit.
Luckily, especially since it’s available as a free download (until October 31), the good more than compensates for the bad.
The comic folkie shines with the first few tracks.
Mission Accomplished (You Gotta Have Faith) uses Todd’s trademark lyrical wit in a parody of George Michael’s song “Faith.”
The Ballad of Cape Henry documents the last battle of a wounded sailor with a catchy chorus and backing vocals by Patty Griffin.
Patty is also featured on the remake of CCR’s Fortunate Son has been stripped down to an arrangement that could have come straight from an antiwar protest circa 1970. The only problem is Todd’s version lacks all of the goosebump-causing conviction needed to make it a standout.
Stuck on the Corner (Prelude to a Heart Attack) is the rock song wedged between the bluesy Dividing the Estate (A Heart Attack) and the spoken word Is This Thing Working?, which garners belly-laughs when done live but falls short on the recorded version. Is This Thing On? is the same story of a high school bully set to music.
The instrumental Ponce of the Flaming Peace Queer includes a message from Todd saying that while he shares his opinions, he doesn’t share them because they’re smart but “because they rhyme” and not to change the listener’s mind about anything but to ease his own mind about everything.
Even with the shortcomings of some songs, Peace Queer is worth a listen, especially for those than understand Todd’s slightly odd brand of humor. Download it at ToddSnider.net
Get Peace Queer on iTunes