Song of the Day #4,694: ‘The Naked Ride Home’ – Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne entered his fourth decade of recording with 2002’s The Naked Ride Home. This album is more personal than political, always a plus.

It’s also the longest record he’s ever released, its ten songs running a full hour. Six of these tracks run six or seven minutes, turning it into a test of patience at times. Often that padded running time is dedicated to long instrumental interludes, which doesn’t help.

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Song of the Day #4,693: ‘The Barricades of Heaven’ – Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne followed up the triumphant comeback of I’m Alive with Looking East, a record more in line with his mid-80s work.

The political songs made a comeback, but fortunately they don’t dominate the album and, for the most part, they are more subtle than earlier efforts. That said, I have to call him out for this particularly awful verse:

Do people really spend millions upon millions
To make us think we care about the planet
At the same time polluting and looting the only world we’ve got
So they can maximize their profit?
People do

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Song of the Day #4,692: ‘Inside’ – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Listening to Jackson Browne’s I’m Alive last week and now this song today, I’m reminded that the early 90s contained their fair share of musical treasures.

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Dulcinea is one of my favorite albums from that era. This is the best release by one of the best alternative rock bands of all time, one that has never received half the recognition they deserve.

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Song of the Day #4,691: ‘Keeper of the Flame’ – Miranda Lambert

Today’s random SOTD is from The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert’s splendid 2016 double album (which I recently named my favorite of the previous decade).

‘Keeper of the Flame’ is one of the album’s upbeat tracks, and one of the few that isn’t about going through or recovering from a breakup.

This song is about Lambert’s place in a long line of women in both country music and music industry generally.

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Song of the Day #4,690: “Sky Blue and Black’ – Jackson Browne

I was critical of Jackson Browne’s last two albums of the 80s, but all is forgiven with the arrival of 1993’s I’m Alive. Inspired by his breakup with actress Daryl Hannah, this record marks a return to the personal, confessional songwriting of his early triumphs.

I’m Alive deserves a spot among the great breakup albums. It is sadly beautiful and beautifully sad, a marvel melodically and lyrically. Browne’s words are heartfelt and perceptive, both raw from the painful separation and wise about the path behind and in front of him.

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