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Todd Snider

The Devil You Know – 2006 (New Door/Universal)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Todd Snider

Todd Snider isn't really about the next big hit or the immediate gratification hit. He's more subtle and thoughtful. You need to listen carefully to determine that he's really talking to our Commander in Chief on "You Got Away With It." He's anything but shy when it comes to political or social commentary here: "You never did tell me what happened with you and your brother down there in Florida/I heard they gave you a hell of a time/Everybody around here was afraid you might lose/I told them not to worry cause I knew you'd be fine/I worry forever/Never for you/You'll get away with it/You always do/You'll get away with this new thing too."

Snider also dips into reality for "Thin Wild Mercury," which recounts a physical altercation between songwriting legends Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. Many of Snider's tunes aren't exactly top-tappers or contenders for melody of the month. But there's plenty of substance, more than a dash of fun and some truly magical moments on this new disc.