A Review of the Janet Bates CD
"Another Child"

"Another Child"
by Janet Bates

Copyright 2006

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Social commentary songs remain alive and well. It's just that, compared to yesteryear, there are so few outlets playing such music today.

So, if a topical, political CD is released into the musical 'forest" and very few, if any, hear it, does it make any sound?

Such conundrums do not deter Janet Bates. Currently residing in Oregon, Bates continues sincere in and committed to the personal and musical expression of her beliefs and values.

This is her latest release, loaded with topics du jour from our daily newspapers and weekly magazines.

In "Bearded stranger," about a return visit by Jesus, Bates wonders whether many of 'spiritual leaders' who are focused more on expanding their personal billfolds or congregation size than preaching about and and living a good life, would recognize, let alone, accept Jesus. Bates, a defier and denier of the status quo a la Jesus, closes this cut with:
"...how would you recognize a savior if he touched you on your sleeve
don't you think he'd be a poor man, don't you think he'd come in peace
he would look out at the sorrow and the darkness and the pain
and he would start a revolution, once again"
Wouldn't the FBI have Jesus under surveillance as an enemy of the state?

"Rwanda" depicts the ever-present clash between (im)morality, national and international interests. As George Santayana wrote: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

About how current events should be a clarion call for activism, "Calling for you" asks "...Is it getting harder to believe what is said, is it getting harder to just turn your head..."

In "Prisoner of New Orleans," Bates takes the real life viewpoint of a single, working mother who is denied passage over a bridge out of New Orleans during the Katrina disaster.

"Mother's day" bleeds irony. A mother worrys whether her son is amoung the latest casualty in Iraq, rules out the possibility, but then realizes that there is another mother somewhere who actually has just suffered the loss.

As always, Bates encases her lyrics in a collage of instrumentation that propels the songs forward. And fear not; this is no preachy screeching. It is a musical commentary on the important topics and events of the day. This is sonorous humanism personified, light for those blinded by the darkness.

Track List:

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