Songwriter Willie Nile has always had a way with blending narrative tales and declarations into a wonderful amalgam of blues and rock, resulting in enjoyable and thought-provoking records. His latest album, Children Of Paradise, is his most overtly political to date. Understandable, too, considering the times we live in. From the cover art–– which features homeless people from his New York neighborhood ––it’s easy to see that the message is clear that Nile doesn’t want you to feel comfortable in your seat. That’s not to say that the music here is didactic; if you feel uncomfortable, that is the point––and perhaps you need to reevaluate why you feel this way. But that doesn’t mean the album is absence of groove. “Earth Blues” is perhaps the Rosetta Stone to the album––as being one hell of a rocker, too. Nile has something to say, and with Children Of Paradise, he says them with deftness and intelligence so often sorely lacking in political music.
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