Tim Bowen & the Crystal Ball Breakers

Tim Bowen & the Crystal Ball Breakers

Tim Bowen & the Crystal Ball Breakers

Issues

Singer/songwriter Tim Bowen has issues.

He has issues with America’s war on Iraq.

He has issues with the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.

He has issues with, well, you get the idea. This is what you’d call a “timely” record, one that chronicles current events. In a few years, it’ll date this LP, but for now it remains a brave face in a sea of pop fluff. Most effective is “Baghdad Is Black and Blue,” a hard-hitting view of the Iraq War that sneaks up on you with its initially gentle late ’60s psychedelic vibe until bullets start firing. It’ll be interesting to see what radio will do with “Baghdad Is Black and Blue,” at least with the Triple A and college stations that support independent musicians.

This is a low-key, unpolished little record with no commercial ambitions. Bowen is, first and foremost, a lyricist, and not somebody with MTV dreams. Critics and the coffeehouse will end up appreciating it the most. The use of harmonica, especially well done on “How Long Will It Take,” is going to draw accurate comparisons to classic Bob Dylan. There are country flavors, too. On “American Refugee,” Bowen somehow summons the ghostly melancholy of Hank Williams, Sr.

Tim Bowen & the Crystal Ball Breakers : cdbaby.com/cd/tbatcbb2

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