A deliberately frothy take on an under-documented moment in US politics
Willy Mason: If The Ocean Gets Rough
Willy’s world takes a dark turn, but he has enough depth to stop the ship from sinking
While there’s equally great songs here, something’s changed. Cosmetically, ‘If The Ocean Gets Rough’ is shinier and crisper, without losing its rough edges. But more fundamentally, Willy sings in a deeper register, and so from the title down, everything is more morose. ‘Save Myself’ may be in the same vein as ‘Oxygen’, but gone is the commie pied piper, displaced by a man so beaten down by the selfish folk and free market economics he can only look out for number one in a world “when the vultures copyright the word ‘free’”. Elsewhere, the riptide is getting him down (‘Riptide’), the leaves are falling (‘When The Leaves Have Fallen’), he’s reached the end of the race (‘The End Of The Race’) and the ocean is getting rough.
Mason is still clearly a special talent with an equal skill for conveying sorrow and joy and hope. Maybe his dream can be saved, but, if only because feeling sad isn’t as good as feeling happy, this isn’t as enjoyable as before.
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