Politicians are dirty, and politics are mud. The environment is in ruins, the rich are getting richer, corporations are evil and apathy is cancer. If aggressive socio-political commentary normally kills your buzz, Swift counters it on The Dirty Pulse with some pretty solid music. Funky, propulsive beats, odd tempo changes, whimsical yet stinging guitar parts and elastic bass lines courtesy of long-time cohort Lyndell Montgomery go a long way toward making Swift's ninth album an interesting spin. As good as some of the grooves are (and really they are, adeptly shifting from jazz, to pop, folk and R&B), I can't help feeling I'm being lectured. Swift, whose sound and overall effect are not unlike Ani DiFranco's, will have her diehard contingent championing The Dirty Pulse, and no doubt will bring a few new ones into the fold.
Ember Swift plays the El Mocambo Saturday (April 22).