Let the Hard Times Roll
David Ford is a brilliant songwriter. His lyrics are equal parts cynicism, wit, and emotion combined with music that complements the words perfectly. On his latest, Let the Hard Times Roll Ford explores everything that makes him one of the best singer-songwriters across the Atlantic.
The opener “Panic” is full of quick one-liners like “Time is money/ Money talks and talk is cheap” that come at you like a machine gun.
My favorite song is the piano-driven “To Hell with the World,” where a heartbroken Ford emotes “To hell with the world/ I still love you my girl/ You’d be crazy to stay by my side/ So let’s stand and let’s sing/ And there are these beautiful things/ If you never know the places they hide.” He also explores his depressive side with lines like, “I’ve been told to keep my head above water/ When I’d rather it be below.”
“Stephen” is another track that tugs on the heartstrings with Ford exclaiming “A piece of land is only a piece of land/ And you will not come home tonight.” The combination of instruments (mandolin, accordion, violin, various percussion) puts a lump in your throat and makes you think of every soldier fighting every war, whether in the Middle East or the religious wars in Ireland.
Just as you are wiping the tears away, Ford punches you in the face with “Nothing at All.” This is a bitter track with Ford spitting venom like “Who needs education when you’ve got a degree?” All this over a bass drum/handclap beat punctuated with a set of chains being dropped at the two and four of every beat tho punctuate each biting line.
On the scathingly beautiful “Hurricane,” Ford proclaims “There’s a whole generation asleep at the wheel” and “God bless America/ God save the Queen/ God kill my enemies/ And keep my hands clean.”
Ford not only lays his emotions bare on Let the Hard Times Roll, but he makes sure you are paying attention by putting delicate tracks next to songs that will rock your socks off. David Ford is one of the best singer-songwriters out there, and anybody who thinks that artists like Howie Day and Avril Lavigne are the best there is needs to listen to David Ford. Now.
David Ford: www.myspace.com/davidford