David Serby

Poor Man’s Poem

by Jedd Beaudoin

19 July 2011

 
cover art

David Serby

Poor Man's Poem

(Self-released)
US: 10 May 2011
UK: Import

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter David Serby puts aside his honky-tonk ways for this meditation on the working man. The time seems ripe for such an album, as questions about labor unions and the fate of working people throughout the country are on seemingly everyone’s lips at the moment. The problem is that writing about the lives of working class people––a life as mundane and unromantic as the life of the actuary and the college English department secretary Grapes of Wrath and Gung Ho be damned––is harder to do than you’d think. So much of what appears in these lyrics rings as false, clichéd, even, albeit unintentionally, patronizing. Serby’s whispery singing voice lends an unnecessary sense of resignation to the songs and too few moments of celebration. Believe it or not, working people like to have a good time. This can best be summarized as a bummer set.

Poor Man's Poem

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