Kris Kristofferson,
Third World Warrior
& Repossessed

(Oh Boy, 2004)

On the classic Third World Warrior, Kris Kristofferson takes the classic idea of the protest song and makes it eminently successful with memorable melodies like the anthemic "Don't Let the Bastards (Get You Down)" and the white reggae "Love of Money." (Think UB40 at their best marching for the poor.) Another standout is "Third World War," whose expansive, echoed vocals could be off The Wall if Roger Waters had eclipsed his World War II hangup with rabid liberalism.

This album, originally released in 1990, was the pinnacle of the leftwing political crusade Kristofferson salvaged from his flagging singer-songwriter career. With this, it is very clear what Peter, Paul & Mary mean in "I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music" when they sing, "The message may not move me or mean a great deal to me / But hey! It feels so groovy to say."

Repossessed, packaged together here for a two-CD set, is more uneven and has more of a country feel; however, it contains the excellent songs "Mean Old Man" and "They Killed Him." The overriding impetus of fearing another Vietnam in the then current El Salvador situation will make much of this album resonate with the United States' current spate of foreign involvement.

by Tom Schulte

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