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Dar Williams My Better Self
On September 13th, Razor & Tie Records will release Dar William's sixth studio album and it promises to be a smash hit. Dar is making her mark as a seasoned singer-song writer. Her lyrical expressions create vivid imagery on culture, social, political and environmental issues cradled in beautiful melodies. On this release, these broad issues are expressed in themes of love, hate, faith, and community. While Dar's career has been heavily influenced by the singer song writer, folk traditions, "My Better Self" assimilates more pop elements than past releases but it works beautifully.
The third track on the CD, Echoes, conveys a similar concept to that of paying it forward. It expresses the belief that each of us makes an impact by our actions that "echoes all over the world". The lyrics, "Every time you open to kindness, make one connection used to divide us, it echoes all over the world.", is a call to action for each of us to make a difference in life with the good we can do. On the heals of Katrina and the devastation in the gulf states, Dar's words can really mean the difference between life and death with just the little kindness and charity that each of us may contribute in the recovery of this horrid tragedy.
Dar is so committed to this theme that she has initiated a campaign to promote small community organizations called the "ECHOES INITIATIVE" During her tour to promote "My Better Self" she will publicize specific local charities in advance and during the concert event in an effort to raise additional funds and promote the good these charities do in the local communities.
Dar doesn't take this one completely solo. She teams with Ani Difranco on a haunting cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." and with Marshall Crenshaw on Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Marshall Crenshaw also joins Dar on "Teen for God" and “Beautiful Enemy". “Teen for God” tells of the dedication of young teen girls attending Bible camp as they learn to cope with growing desires. Patty Larkin’s vocals lend wonderful contrasting harmonies to the more folk oriented “The Hudson”.
"Two Sides of a River" is a beautiful slow bluesy tune which features Soulive for one of the most notable tracks on the CD. Soulive provides some wonderful guitar licks on this track. “Empire” has an early “60s” feel to it with it’s 8 beat.
The whole of the CD is a great listen with an interesting mix of lyrics, melodies, tempos and beats. Regardless of your social consciousness, Dar is sure to touch a cord with her thought provoking lyrics.
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