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T Bone Burnett

The True False Identity – 2006 (Sony Legacy)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by T Bone Burnett

T Bone Burnett's true identity, based upon what is revealed by his new "The True False Identity" solo release, is that of an angry man with a loaded gun aimed squarely at George W. Bush. He never mentions Bush by name, but W's image comes immediately to mind when Burnett complains, "They don't make imposters like John Wayne anymore" during "Fear Country."

Bush also appears to be the inspiration for "Palestine, Texas," which features these biting words: "When you come out of this self-delusion/You're going to need a soul transfusion." The latter track also includes multiple verses with a rhyme scheme seemingly inspired by Dr. Seuss poems, which somehow still works.

Burnett's disgust reaches far beyond The White House, however. During "Zombieland" he complains about our national collective emotional numbness. Furthermore, he might easily be calling out the remnants of the Moral Majority with "Blinded by the Darkness," which rails against attempts to legislate morality. Burnett is mainly associated with the roots rock movement, but this effort contains far more rock than roots. It comes off especially disjointedly beautiful during "Every Time I Feel the Shift," which includes some distinctive Marc Ribot electric guitar work, combined with what sounds like a Black gospel quartet.

Nope, there's no identity crisis here.