Maybe it’s just me, but 2 guitars, bass, and drums is like the instrumental equivalent of a meat and three. There may be a lot of variations, but it’s all comfort food. That’s a little bit how I think of Chuck Prophet. You can get pickled okra to go with your marshmallow yams and douse it all with hot sauce. No matter what record you pick up, you can’t really go wrong. His newest album, The Land That Time Forgot, continues in that warmly satisfying tradition.
Best Shirt On launches the CD out of the gate with a power pop tune about just going out and doing your best. High As Johnny Thunders uses an ironic twist of soft rock for the late New York Dolls guitarist in the beginning of a barrage of alternate universe situations. Marathon features Prophet’s wife, Stephanie, on vocals in a stand-up surf pop number about a dance contest.
As seems to be appropriate nowadays, politics make an appearance in several songs. Nixonland is historical commentary on the president from Prophet’s birthplace in Orange County. Fast Kid uses rock and roll to tell the story of, I guess, any delinquent youth. But it seems to have a female bent that could have come from #MeToo. The CD finishes with Get Off the Stage. Here Prophet comes from the place he knows best (as a musician) to plead with a leader who’s just not cutting it, “c’mon man, get off the stage.” And in describing that leader as “an obstruction in democracy’s bowel”, he turned a phrase any writer would be proud to own.
Prophet has co-writes with seemingly everyone in the music business. For those of you who haven’t heard of him due to being under a songwriting rock somewhere, The Land That Time Forgot is a great introduction to his skills and passion. For those of you who are fans, the album is just exactly what you need right now.
About the author: I've actually driven from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I've seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night.