Let me get the bottom line out of the way real quick: I love The New America. It’s great. If you were on the verge of buying it, and needed that last little push to flop down your well-earned, or not-so-well-earned, money down on the counter in exchange for Bad Religion’s new record, then consider this your little push. Go buy it. Otherwise, hang out a little more, and let me persuade, or dissuade, you from picking it up.
Bad Religion is one of those bands I’ve been wanting to listen to for quite a while. A few of my friends have encouraged me to listen to them, urging me to flop down my own well-earned money for a disc or two. I’ve just never gotten around to buying one of their CDs. I’ve listened to their songs on the Dreamcast video game “Crazy Taxi” more times than I would want to mention, but I’ve never listened to one of their entire albums. The New America has changed all of that. I am most certainly looking forward to hearing more.
The New America is all about energy. From the frantic opening chords of “You’ve Got a Chance” to the fading fervor of “Don’t Sell Me Short,” The New America throbs with energy-solid rhythms drive intelligent lyrics and propel catchy choruses. The songs, as a whole, are simple post-punk, or whatever you might want to call them-frenetic rock and roll, poppy punk, clean alternative, name your drug. They work.
The title track, “New America,” is a galloping, optimistic treatise on opening the doors to a new and better America; “Whisper in Time” melodically waxes pop and invites you to sing along, which you most certainly will, in tune to remembrances of people and places down through time; “I Love My Computer” takes a snide and popular look at the computer and how its personality-less presence has taken over the lives of many, many of us: “You can be my princess / Or you can be my whore.”
The New America is great listening, short of captivating, but certainly long on energy and replay value.