Matthew Craig Burke 1 p.m., April 30
Sea of Mass Confusion
1) Sea of Mass Confusion
2) White Collar Criminal
3) Orphans Sleep Alone
4) Empty Sky
5) My Morning Mirror
6) The World Is Flat
7) Think It's Time
8) Happily Ever After
9) It Fades Away
11) Colonel Ted
As far as the music behind the lyrics is concerned, it's forgettable. It's basic rock with a hint of country and folk. Now, let's talk about the lyrics. This is protest rock, very literal protest rock. Sea of Mass Confusion is about as straightforward as a kick to the shins. In most songs, Bill takes the position of any 22-year-old college student and sets it to standard music.
"Our vote is all you need / but power is like a cancer / and it's growing like a weed." Little bit of a mixed metaphor here. Not really a big deal except for two things: 1) protest rock is all about its words (the music is nothing special) and 2) this sort of mistake is pervasive throughout the CD.
"Orphans often sleep alone / their tears are always dry / and who would care to lay beside the anguish of an orphan's cry." Orphans sleep alone because they cry and they cry because they sleep alone. Oh, and they cry dry tears. (?) But, don't worry about that. Just agree with him. Who can argue with orphans?
And who can argue with "Let's take the guns and gas / and stick them up the ass / of these thieves, politicians, generals and bigots." This is the same sentiment that won Toby Keith awards from the pro-war crowd and cries of "idiot!" from the opposition.
So, if you want affirmation that white-collar criminals are bad, war and gas are bad, and orphans are good, then I'll leave you with this last expression from Bill: "But if you could turn back a page on the wall / you may see a smile through the tears of it all / you dream of tomorrow, you waste your today / your skies remain cloudy, your ship sails away." The tears and smiles and clouds and ships of a page on the wall. Got it.
--- Hometown CD Review 5-11-06