Known for his loud, murderous riffs in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, guitarist Tom Morello turns off the amp for this acoustic collection of subversive fight songs. Morello paints himself as the everyman worker wandering America in hopes of waking folks from their political slumber. Unfortunately, he leaves us fumbling for the snooze button with an album that's high on good intentions but low on spark. Morello's neither Dylan nor Springsteen, and the allusions to Nebraska, an album bristling with the kind of understated rage OMR never comes close to, get irritating. Songs like Battle Hymns, Union Song and Let Freedom Ring need little interpretation. Morello holds our hands lyrically, strolling through what sounds like the manifesto of a college dorm newbie leftist.
Tom Morello plays the Horseshoe May 16.