Danny O'Keefe's benchmark album from the seventies
Søren Matzen Andersen | Hvidovre, Denmark | 07/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Danny O'Keefe sure picked an appropriate title for his 1979 release, with many of his songs depicting not only the current state of the world as in "Save the Whales" and "Atlas," but also life in general and human relationships. His lyrical wit is just as amazing as it has always been, but the real surprise is to be found in the arrangements of the individual songs. "Livin' in the Modern Age" & "The Jimmy Hoffa Mem. Bldg. Blues" dates back to the pre-rock era, with jazz leanings making it sound like something coming out of Crescent City. The title track combines blues, rock and jazz in a highly original way and on "The Street" O'Keefe uses a Caribbean rhythm track as well as synthesizers and howling guitars. The result is fabulous and the lyrics about streetlife turns this song into a personal highlight. One of the lines reads something like this: "Sign I saw on a wall yesterday - said don't forget the SLA," a reference to the Symbionese Liberation Army & the Patty Hearst kidnapping in 1974. But the rest of the song selections have the same high quality, both in terms of lyrics and music. Cuts like "(Keep Your) Back to the Wall," Square Sun" and "Save the Whales" show how well Danny O'Keefe masters different styles. The first one of these is a great pop song filled with hooks and on the second he creates otherworldly sounds by clever use of guitars, keyboards, percussion and a Japanese instrument called a shakahachi - whatever that is! The album's final song "Atlas" is a fitting end to this song cycle - and the decade.
"The Global Blues" is a benchmark in Danny O'Keefe's entire recording career. There's something for all on this record and some of the topics he dealt with at that particular time are just as relevant today. Longtime Danny O'Keefe fans probably have the old LP version, if it's not worn out by repeated listening a long time ago. But this marks the first time "Global Blues" has been released on CD, along with several other O'Keefe recordings from the seventies like "O'Keefe," (1972), "So Long Harry Truman," (1975) & "American Roulette" (1977). All four Wounded Bird CD releases are highly recommended.
Great and innovative
William F. Harris | 07/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is one of O'Keefe's most adventurous and stylisticly varied recordings. I loved every minute of it, from the jazz-tinged "Global Blues" through the ballads and blues to the concluding METAL (yep, you read that right!} of the final track, "Atlas Shrugged." Fantastic."