This latest offering from Ray Stevens is wonderful in it's topicality, humor, sarcasm, and irony. This digital download features 11 songs that will put anyone in either a political mood or at the very least a current events mood...and more importantly you'll be laughing throughout most of the collection. The collection starts off with Ray's previous single "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore". This song is about a couple who have quite an adventure while at the airport thanks in large part to the TSA's enhanced security procedures. A music video was uploaded in February 2011 and it's been viewed by more than 140,000 people on You Tube.
Track number two is a catchy sing-a-long...entitled "Mr. President-Mr. President" we hear Ray giving a rundown on all the things that are going wrong in the country (mostly of Obama's making) and it's then we hear Ray ask the President what are his plans going forward. The President gives his plans on straightening out the economy and the unemployment problem among other issues. It's a very funny song and it fits Obama like a golf glove.
On the third song, "God Save Arizona", we hear a very serious performance condemning the United States Attorney General as well as the critics of Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio. The single and subsequent music video was released in August 2010. The video's been viewed by over 700,000 people on You Tube.
In the collection's fourth song, "Cap'n Trade the Pirate", we're told the tale of a pirate who wants to join forces with the President and punish America, too. The pirate goes through his credentials of why he feels he's uniquely qualified to be the enforcer of both the environmental and energy policies of the far-left. He plans to shrink the 'carbon footprint' and has plans on job growth and other programs near and dear to the progressives. Ray performs the bulk of the song using his pirate vocal impression.
Turning serious again we have the clever "Uncle Sam"...in this quiet, reflective ballad Ray sings about an Uncle named Sam who's gotten up in years and doesn't have a grasp on reality. The uncle throws his money away at the drop of a hat...but Ray (the nephew) comes up with a plan on trying to help his Uncle get on the right path and regain his common sense. This performance is followed by the high-energy, inspirational feel of "November Storm" which incorporates meteorology jargon when describing the previous election cycle and the one upcoming in 2012.
Some may be asking themselves: Does Ray tackle illegal immigration in this collection? Why, yes, he does...and he does it well. In his previous collection, We the People, Ray sang about illegal immigration on a song called "Come to the USA" (it's music video has over 5,000,000 views on You Tube). Meanwhile, on this Spirit of '76 collection we have a further tale of illegal immigration titled "Mi Casa Su Casa". As we near the end of the collection we get more and more into satire and irony. "Grandpa Voted Democrat" may appear from it's title to be a sentimental song about how a grandpa voted...or a song about a grandfather's political beliefs...but in reality the song is a wickedly funny story about a bizarre chain of events.
Track 9 is Ray's current single and music video: "Obama Budget Plan". The song is kind of a sequel to the collection's opening song, "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore". This time around the couple (who I refer to as the TSA couple) have apparently made their way from the airport and become fixated on living their lives on what's referred to as the "Obama Budget Plan" and so they create a vast operation in their basement, complete with printing press, and they go on a money printing spree. They figure if it's fine for Congress and the President (Government in general) to rack up debt and print more and more money to cover expenses then it should be okay for the American public to do the same thing. The music video was uploaded onto You Tube late on April 25, 2011 and in a matter of hours it's gotten 17,476 views. The video was highlighted on The O'Reilly Factor on April 25th.
Track 10, "News Machine", takes shots at TV news in general...especially when it's a slow news day and the mundane is lifted into the stellar and reported on insatiably 24/7. Track 11, "New Normal", is another satirical song and this time around we hear of a once rich man down on his luck thanks in large part to the President and the pay czar. We're told of how lonesome it is living underneath the bridge and how he can't wait for 2012 to roll around when Obama's kicked out of office...officially putting an end to Obama's "New Normal". As an added touch Ray delves into Hank Williams territory and yodels the song's title while a harmonica plays in the background.
All in all it's a wonderful release and a perfect companion to the We The People release last year. Here's "Obama Budget Plan"...the latest from Ray Stevens...