Ominous bass, staggering drums and a seething first-person lyrical journey that puts us in the shoes of an immigrant boy struggling to survive comprise “Mrs. Liberty,” the new single from Christopher Hill featuring a sensational guest vocal from De Anza Spaulding. While the song boasts some of the grizzlier verses that we’ve heard from Hill, its words are painfully literal and shadow a real life story that plays out time and time again in our country and abroad. Rock fans of all ages and backgrounds are going to want to give this track a spin this year, if for no other reason than to experience Hill at his most intimate and vulnerable to date.
The music here is as moving as the words are; the rumbling bassline takes us there, to the frontlines of a silent revolution being waged against oppressive drug cartels and murderous human traffickers. Though the lyrical premise is absolutely heart-wrenching, the music is unbelievably calculated and cerebral, penetrating the speakers with a psychedelic ambience that is haunting and somewhat invasive. Tension runs high as the percussion churns us in a violent vortex of beats, but the texture of this and, frankly, every facet within the instrumentation is so wonderfully vivid that it’s hard to avoid becoming hypnotized by the pendulous sway of the song.
Lyrically, “Mrs. Liberty” is one of the smartest compositions that I’ve reviewed from Christopher Hill, not to mention one of the more emotionally-charged both in narrative and in execution. Despite the cutting nature of the poetry, I wouldn’t say that Hill gets super political in this song; if anything, he sticks to the matter and hand and refutes the very notion of turning our attention towards politicians over the people suffering from their negligence. In that sense, this is a charming example of a protest song that isn’t tethered to the left or right, but instead the concept of goodness itself.
This single sports a very high quality production value that ensures that we’re able to appreciate every stunning element within the song without feeling overwhelmed by the grandiosity of its arrangement. Indeed, this is an ambitiously crafted track from Hill, but through the meticulously designed master mix, every stitch of musicality is carefully preserved, and as a result, none of his phenomenal, organic tonality is sacrificed. He brings an amazingly broad skillset to the table, and it’s exploited here for every drop of catharsis it’s capable of producing.
“Mrs. Liberty” is an early contender for sharpest political anthem of the New Year, and as far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to be the world’s biggest fan of protest music to understand the vital message Hill is trying to impart to us here. In an era marred with division unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory, it’s really nice to see a singer/songwriter like Christopher Hill not only staying true to his aesthetical roots, but using his incomparable talent for good. This single goes a long way to solidifying his place in the hierarchy of West Coast indie rock, and in my opinion, elevates his status on the international circuit quite significantly.
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