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Year End 2008 - Best of 2008Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

The Fabled City

Epic

Nov 02, 2008 Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman Bookmark and Share


In 2007, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello reinvented himself as a Woody Guthrie-esque acoustic guitar strumming protest singer and rechristened this new self The Nightwatchman. His debut, One Man Revolution, while ripe with sociopolitical intent, suffered from over-reliance on the one-man acoustic approach and a singing style that often lacked the subtlety or dynamic that the songs required. On his sophomore effort, Morello sounds much more comfortable at the mic, his singing stronger and more confident both at its most rollickingly forceful and its whispered quiet. But primarily, The Fabled City benefits from musical diversity. “The Lights Are on in Spidertown” is a bouncy, lively revolt, and “Saint Isabelle” engages with a harmonica-led chant and fists-high swagger. “Night Falls” and “Lazarus on Down,” the latter with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, both feature affecting orchestration. And “The Iron Wheel,” a song about realizing mortal limitations, boasts a defiant sing-along chorus worthy of Rage, albeit presented in a genre worlds away. With The Fabled City, Morello’s Nightwatchman has fulfilled much of the promise hinted at on One Man Revolution. This time Morello’s revolution is all encompassing, and everyone is free to chant along. (www.nightwatchmanmusic.com)

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January 10th 2011
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Tom Morello is best known for his work as the guitarist in the hard rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. But his history of political activism has also inspired him to record as the Nightwatchman, an acoustic-based folk singer who writes protest songs. The Fabled City is the second Nightwatchman album, and while it’s more stylistically diverse than his first record, 2007’s One Man Revolution, Morello fails to turn his impassioned messages into provocative music. “Rolex Prices

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