My American Dream
Anyone who follows Nashville singer-songwriter Will Hoge’s Twitter or Facebook feeds will know how accustomed he is to being told to ‘shut up and sing’ by keyboard warriors when he posts content that dares to veer away from plugging tour dates or new music.
With his new EP My American Dream Hoge has taken the online haters’ advice – but used his platform to get some very pointed messages across about the political situation in America today.
As Hoge himself admits, recording My American Dream was ‘less expensive than therapy’ and his strength of feeling about issues that weigh heavily comes across powerfully on opening track ‘Gilded Walls’. A strong backbeat leads into Hoge cathartically eviscerating President Trump, a broken education and economic system and a political landscape that accepts school shootings as a means to an end.
It’s a blistering start followed swiftly by the raucous “Stupid Kids”, which sees Hoge raise the intensity level once more, highlighting the movement of young people fighting for change across the country.
A reworking of the previously recorded “Still a Southern Man”- a devastating take-down of the Confederate flag – shows political commentary is not new territory for Hoge.
But perhaps the most startling moment of the EP is the sparse, yet blistering acoustic track, “Thoughts and Prayers”, which tackles the issue of gun control and politicians’ mealy-mouthed responses to tragedy after tragedy without any real change.
My American Dream proves that Will Hoge will not be silenced by anyone – even his own fans – who feels he should stay quiet on political matters. Such songwriting subjects might not be universally popular among his entire fanbase but nonetheless this record is a powerful statement of intent and a cathartic response to issues that Hoge passionately believes can’t be ignored by him or society at large.