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Rick Shroder

Your Kind Words – 2006 (Anova)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Rick Shroder

Boston native Rich Schroder wanted a break from his rock background, so he picked up an acoustic guitar and began to write. He attempts to shed some light here on some very dark subjects through his writings, but unmercifully fails to deliver.

Schroder takes on controversial topics such as child abuse in "Father Jones," spousal abuse in "Never Happen Again" and serial murders in "Green River Killer." Unfortunately, the material in these songs leaves the listener squirming uncomfortably, not only in content but lyrically as well, as Schroder sometimes forces lyrics to fit the music.

He does attempt to add more lighthearted songs such as "Sorry That I am Not the Home Depot Type" and "Retail Therapy," but the lack of smooth flowing lyrics hold back these songs as well.

Schroder's first attempt at folk music fails to achieve any semblance of balance or comfort. The subject material was perhaps too darkly portrayed, such as from the priest's perspective in "Father Jones," to allow one to engage with the music.