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January 30, 2023

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Bobby Bare Jr.
Young Criminals' Starvation League (Bloodshot Records)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

Bobby Bare Jr's 2002 Young Criminals' Starvation League is one of the most uniquely original albums I've heard in the last 5 years. There is so much subtle magic to this record it's almost too much to handle. From the way Carey Kotsionins' vocals are snuck under the body of "Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville", to the point that you don't even notice them till you listened to the CD a hundred times and think it can hold no new surprises. Bobby Bare Jr. has dropped the idea of the Pop song in to a blender and has successfully reshaped the concept from the shredded remains into his own masterpiece. Bare has created songs that tattoo themselves on your body, mind and soul. From the catchy "I'll Be Around" to the amazing "Dig Down" which I'd rate as one of the all-time best songs ever. And even in the greatness of this album there is something about it that's approachable-ly human. Maybe it's the honesty of the lyrics, which though at times are wildly imaginative, they are all the words we really want to say, all the raw words we know don't make sense but reveal the people we really are. Or Is it how with his rough voice Bare reaches for and obtains a harmony that seems should not be possible, but there it is pressed on plastic. I've listened to this album possibly over a hundred times since I picked up a copy at my local music store and even now it excites me, and isn't that what good music is suppose to do, make you excited to hear it again?

Finally, the music, I can't tell you how the Bass work of both Matt Swanson and Kevin Teel just blows my mind. Even the most simple of musical task is performed with such clear detail fitting so well into the total sound of the album you can't help but be amazed.

If you don't have this album go out now and buy it. And if it's odd the first time through, listen to it one more time and you'll find you're already in love with it.

Rating: A+

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