Songs for the Daily Planet

Todd Snider

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Songs for the Daily Planet Review

by Jack Leaver

It's ironic that Todd Snider's first radio exposure would come from a song included on his debut as an afterthought and contained as a "hidden" track. "Talking Seattle Grunge-Rock Blues" is reminiscent of early Dylan, hilarious in its satire as a clever dose of good-natured pokes at the industry hype surrounding the Seattle music scene (including references to Eddie Vedder and Nirvana). Although he is a very talented songwriter with a keen wit, at times Snider is just a little too consciously contrived for his own good, threatening to reduce his art to novelty. For instance, the extremely countrified "My Generation, Pt. 2" and the Mellencamp-esque "Alright Guy" are very humorous observations, but dangerously close to sounding trite, especially when compared to the seriousness of the chilling "You Think You Know Somebody," which deals with the ramifications of child abuse. A rootsy record that combines country and folk elements with a genuine rock & roll sensibility, Songs for the Daily Planet also features some cutting fretwork by one of Nashville's finest young guitarists, Eddy Shaver, the son of country outlaw Billy Joe Shaver, one of Snider's heroes. Overall a fine introduction to a remarkable voice.

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