Album Review: Chris T-T – “9 Green Songs”
Sometime collaborator with Frank Turner and frontman with the rather excellent Thee Cee Cees, Chris T-T has actually been putting records out as a solo artist for a good decade and a half now (give his albums The 253 and London Is Sinking a listen for proof of his talent) and it’s heartening to report that 9 Green Songs (a follow-up of sorts to his 2004 effort 9 Red Songs) is a good addition to his catalogue.
Chris’ fiercely left-wing polemic is pretty much evident from opening track #WorstGovernmentEver (which despite its humourous title paints a suitably bleak picture of the last 12 months since the last general election), while his point-on skewering of do-nothing keyboard warriors on Love Me, I’m A Liberal is good as well. Overall though in keeping with these current uncertain times 9 Green Songs is a pretty dark album, with the Patti Smith style beat poetry of Cutting A Longbow and the ominous A Hard Rain, which takes a look at just how near we could potentially be to a full on social breakdown, being anything but easy listening. The ode to stagefright This Is What Drowning Is Like meanwhile definitely wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Frank Turner’s albums.
The slight light relief of A Garden On The Motorway, which sees a group of ecologists digging up the tarmac and planting a forest, is only a brief break before the piano-led Border Crossing which closes the album… and you can probably guess from the title what that one’s about. The heartbreaking closing lyrics of “A toast to the books of old England/A toast to the people in them/Who seemed so good and so strong/Where have those people gone?” shows that this definitely isn’t an album that sees any sort of chink of light at the end of the tunnel we’re currently in.
Dark as hell but a very compelling listen, 9 Green Songs is a damning indictment of the times we currently find ourselves in. Sure, maybe it's not exactly a rock album but it's still the sort of thing that'll maybe make you stop and think about the mess we're in, and how exactly we're going to get out of it. Uneasy listening at its best.