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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Black 47

Iraq (United For Opportunity Music)

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War may be hell, but Black 47 makes it rock. On Iraq, veteran Irish renegade Larry Kirwan and his band of pacifists attempt to conquer the current war with a song cycle of previously released and new material. The punchy melodies are Black 47’s best in years, as uilleann-pipe-fuelled rock, reggae, folk, jazz and traditional Irish music collide in a rewarding protest record.

Taking inspiration from fans who served and shared their experiences with Black 47, Kirwan sings about two young men waiting for a rescue chopper and a soldier worrying that his girlfriend back home is “cruisin’ down Main Street” with her ex. The band also honors anti-war activist/mother Cindy Sheehan and ironically samples America’s lame-duck president, proclaiming, “The United States and its allies have prevailed.”

Sonic shades of Bruce Springsteen and U2 color Iraq, and Kirwan’s nasally accent lends immediacy to lyrics like, “Hey, President Bush, looks like you missed the bus.”