Written by: Alex Green
Our Track of the Day today comes from Michael McDermott.
The title track from the Chicago-born singer/songwriter’s new long player, “What In The World” is an auspicious rocker that couldn’t have come at a more vital time.
A straight up scorcher that falls somewhere between R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” and Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” the song finds McDermott surveying the currently crumbling American landscape with a narrative that registers frustration, anger and a deep, unsettling cosmic alarm. McDermott has always been a powerful presence and in this number he stands on the fault-line and sings out over the ensuing rumble.
With a global pandemic, political unrest, nationwide protests and a long overdue cultural conversation about race all happening as we speak, “What In The World” is surging with prescience and urgency. It boldly takes on socioeconomics, religion, addiction, racism, fraud, climate change and the United States’ troubling history.
Oh, and there’s a reference to James Joyce….
McDermott’s voice has never sounded better and he snaps through the lyrics with the ease of an auctioneer and the poise of a social critic who doesn’t like what he sees.
A pre-apocalyptic warning, with “What In The World,” McDermott isn’t interested in firing warning shots.
The revolution is now.
Have a listen.
And do something.