Album Review by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine
Keith Morris, American Singer and Songwriter has released his album, Psychopaths and Sycophants which, written in an Americana Folk / Rock Anthem style, is a strongly worded and powerfully driven tribute to both his Hometown of Charlottesville and to the people of this nation that reel under the administration of the 45th President of the United States and the obvious insurgence of scapegoat policies, open racism and the undoing of civil rights. Morris has seen what is going on and has taken to the studio to make his voice heard.
Psychopaths and Sycophants by Keith Morris and The Crooked Numbers is most certainly a tribute album, to his home and it’s people, to his contemporaries, the legendary Leonard Cohen, and to his own voice, one like many others that seek to bring sense to a senseless world, order to the chaos and sensibility to us all in a time where common sense is no longer granted to the masses. for fans of Tom Waits, Randy Newman and the revolutionary artists of the 60’s and 70’s, this is just what you would want to hear on the protest line.
This new album is nine tracks of anger at a new world order that is entirely out of order, starting with the track “The Future” which has definite orwellian overtures, picking out the hidden issues, soon followed by the question “What Happened To Your Party?”, a jazzy and bluesy piece that asks those voted into office, “just who the hell have you become”? “Thousand Mile Stairs” is to my mind Keith saying “just a few more steps, just a bit further, we will walk together, you and me, I got your back” it has a gospel quality, like the prayer footsteps in the sand, this song will carry you.
The title track “Psychopaths and Sycophants” just calls out the the facts, naming names and calling to judgement. “Canebreak”, “67%”, have definite southern stylings, but I have to say the song I feel is the jewel in this crown of political thorns is “Charlottesville By Name”, this song has a Pete Seeger quality, blended with a Cat Stevens tone, But the sarchasm of Arlo Guthrie, beautify guitar composition and lyrics that just make you feel the emotion of the moment. Next track is “The Narcissist”, which I think opens up the forum and looks to out the liars in office. last in a finale that is the swelling chorus, “In My Secret Life”, is the life we lead our real life, what do we see when we look at each other, across the room, at the office, at church, are we all, who we seem, and if not, what are we all really doing, and who are we trying to hide from.
Keith Morris said “The album started as a response to what was going on nationally as we looked for shards of hope in this grim new era, but everything took on a more personal meaning when boom, it all hit the fan in my beloved adopted hometown. It was all very surreal, and I’m proud of the way we have addressed it. Just as my music is always evolving and I am committed to growing as an artist, I am now very open to sharing the deeper emotions inside me. I learned to practice mindfulness, and opened a gateway for me to express myself more fully as an artist.”
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