[28 January 2009]
Bill Madden seems to be knee deep in a post political revolution. His approach appears to be less about using music to make changes than music as change. Vocally, a mixture of Jeff Buckley and Ed Kowalczyk, Madden sometimes strains to reach the emotional peaks of his lyrics but so would just about anyone else.
On Madden’s latest release Children of the Same God, he strays a bit far from his reputation as a neo-folk musician and activist. Much of this is a rock record. “I Wanna Know” sounds like it could have come straight from Throwing Copper but with a more direct lyrical approach. “Unfair” provides much of the same. Musically there may not be a great deal of new ground being broken but Madden, thanks to his outspoken activism and role in the environmental movement, has amassed enough of a following to ensure that this record will be heard. Madden has found a co- conspirator in Billy Mohler who plays everything from Bass to Organ on Child of the Same God and he is fortunate to have done so. He seems to provide direction to Madden’s vision.
A lot has changed in the world since Madden wrote this record. It would be tempting to think that we have turned the corner on so many issues that are addressed but Madden and his music are searching for something greater than policy change. He is seeking a paradigm change. And he is using his broad talent to put his mouth where his ideas are.