The 
Nightwatchman, 'World Wide Rebel Songs' (New West)

5
World Wide Rebel Songs
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Label: New West

by Rob Harvilla

God (or Noam Chomsky) bless Tom Morello for his latest lefty-folk morass under the tag Nightwatchman -- ?a Dylan/Guthrie/Seeger/Bragg love letter that fearlessly tangoes betwixt the admirable and the absurd. Only the electric "It Begins Tonight," righteous of riff and bonkers of solo, plays to his strengths; the rest is like watching Michael Jordan bat .235 in Birmingham. Alternately crooning and snarling, Morello commits to the aggro gospel of "Speak and Make Lightning" and the triumphant Iraq-soldier revenge fantasy "Stray Bullets." While his power-to-the-people earnestness can be pretty goofy, his 88-lines-about-44-fascist-pigs furor has its charms.

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