Published Sep 02, 2015Songwriting machine extraordinaire Dan Bern delivers once again on his new album, Hoody. Brimming with his signature humour and keen eye for the human experience, Hoody is another collection of affecting songs that look both deeply inward and out into the world.
With each passing record in his catalogue, Bern has given up a little bit more of the snide winking that defined much of his earlier work, and Hoody continues this tradition. "Merle, Hank & Johnny" finds the man looking back to find comfort in songwriters that didn't appeal to his younger self, with the hope that his own young one might one day find comfort outside of what he calls "cartoon rock 'n' roll." Getting ready for the apocalypse yields more solace than it has any right to on "World," as Bern sings, "God damn the pusher man, God bless the child, who's got his own motor home and sleeps in the wild."
Bern looks outward on "Welcome," his teeth fully bared and ready to fight a society gone mad with excess, drunk on guns and boner pills. It might be the darkest song Bern has laid down in some time, but it's bold and thought provoking. And besides, the rest of Hoody is comforting enough to keep the nightmares of modern life at bay. (Independent)