Reagan Baby

Ross Golan & Molehead

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Reagan Baby Review

by Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen

Chicago native Ross Golan's a Reagan baby for real, born in 1980. Of course, that means he isn't actually old enough to remember much of what went on during that president's administration, but he knows his history well enough to know where George W. Bush's policies and strategies have their philosophical roots. Opening with a clip of children reciting "The Pledge of Allegiance" -- but with the words "under God" edited out -- Golan makes his political leanings clear from the get-go. With Golan rapping over Molehead's minimalist hip-hop beats and guitars, Reagan Baby then delivers the most pointed left-wing pop commentary since Rage Against the Machine closed up shop. On the loping "M.I.A.," he attacks both U.S. imperialism and the government's recurring history of arming countries with whom it later goes to war; on the smooth closer "Blinded By the Right," he takes aim at the Patriot Act and religious fundamentalism with a chorus based on Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light." (That's the album's second nod to Springsteen, the first coming in a sample of the 1984 speech in which Reagan tried to appropriate the Boss' "Born in the U.S.A." as a patriotic anthem.) Elsewhere, Golan attacks Eminem and Martha Stewart -- both easy targets, sure, but he strikes a bull's eye on the former: "The law's written to both conservatives and leftists/It says Vanilla Ice Preservatives can be sexist." Ross Golan & Molehead's music isn't terribly innovative, but the tunes and beats are catchy enough that their agitpop works.

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