By Spencer Wilking
By Christina Black
By Calum Marsh
By J. Pablo
By Phillip Mlynar
By Jenna Sauers
By Brian McManus
By Elliott Sharp
So there isn't a song on Living With the Livingabout the Nets absconding to Brooklyn or that miasmic odor-cloud that drifted over from Jersey into Manhattan back around January, nor a song about Al Gore's Oscar-night neck-weight or any of the other random things that've reminded me of Ted Leo since he's been gone ("Since U Been Gone" too, since he covered it). Ted's political punk reps Jersey to those of us who know nothing about the place, and he's cornered the protest-song market toobut there ain't much competition there.
Living With the Living is a better title than Living With War, and the rhymes are better too: "abnegation" to cap "accusation", "absolution" to finish "confusion." One song goes, "Yes, eternal peace awaits, but for now you get eternal war/And not even the government knows what the fuck it's for anymore." It's more blunt than 2004's already pointed Shake the Sheets, and more streamlined as wellspelling out in lieu of selling out. If his partisan angst to the blaring "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb" pales craft-wise beside the cheery Thin Lizzy upticks on "Who Do You Love," it's because Leo can't help reminding us that pop escapism can be political. He plays to his weaknesses so that we might better spot our own.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city