The Nightwatchman | World Wide Rebel Songs

New West Records (2011)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 30, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

nwm-m

It's been interesting watching the progression of the Nightwatchman, the sometime moniker of Tom Morello. Morello spent his days as the guitarist for the defining '90s activist band Rage Against the Machine, but then went on to efface himself in the explicitly non-political and radio-friendly Audioslave. It was during his time in the latter that he dropped the alter-ego of "Tom Morello" and revealed his true Nightwatchman identity, bringing musically sparse but anthemic decrees to nonplussed fans of his other outfits. But those kids protesting the inequities represented by the pending arrival of Whole Foods in Jamaica Plain love that sort of stuff — a soundtrack for standing up to the social injustices plaguing our nation's hipsters who missed out on primetime Dylan. World Wide Rebel Songs is Morello at his most confident and musically expansive. He's not afraid to rock it Rage-lite ("It Begins Tonight") or get his point across by howling like a canine ("The Dogs of Tijuana"). But for the most part his Springsteen-cover-band warble works best when providing a rallying cry for the downtrodden with lines like "I lost everything/now I am free/I was tryin' to tell ya/you wouldn't listen to me." That's Tom Paxton for a new generation right there.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Rage Against The Machine, Tom Morello,  More more >
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