The Filter Bubble Blues

David Dondero

Fluff & Gravy Records, 2020

http://www.davedondero.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/11/2020

David Dondero has shared releases with some pretty incredible bands, including Mischief Brew, This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, and Operation: Cliff Clavin. And he's no slouch when he's on his own, too. On The Filter Bubble Blues, the troubadour has plenty of fodder in today's political climate for his punk-spirited folk tunes. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Easy Chair” starts the listen with acoustic guitar, keys, and Dondero's easy going vocals that eloquently detail the current state of society. “When The Pendulum Swings” continues his insightful wordplay and thoughtful folk-inspired song craft with a bit of ambience amid shards of country.

On an album where every track is the highlight, “Laying At Your Feet” unfolds with vivid storytelling in a bare but powerful setting, while “Heather Heyer,” a song about the tragedy in Charlottesville in 2017 that resulted in Heyer's death at a Right Wing rally, is ripe with beauty and somberness that serves as a great memorial for the hero. Dondero has a great sense of humor, too, and it comes out in spades on the humorous “You Must Like The Word Like,” where he pokes fun at today's 'like' focused culture alongside an upbeat rootsy rocker.

Closer to the end, “Thought I Was A Hurricane” has Dondero getting rhythmic in the Americana rocker, and “All The Empty Houses” ends the listen with a raw folk presence where xylophones and spacey sounds add a hint of prog-rock ideas to the playful exit.

On his tenth album, Dondero comes off like a modern day Woody Guthrie, where satire, insight, and protest songs all flow with an authentic quality that will both make you laugh out loud and bring you to tears on this very topical and moving record.

Many years ago, NPR called Dondero one of the “best living songwriters,” and if you spend any significant time with The Filter Bubble Blues, you might have a hard time disagreeing with the sentiment.

Rating: A

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