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The Devil You Know

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 8, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Top Ten Americana Artist of 2005 - MOJO. A Southern songwriter in a Steve Earle vein who writes incredibly knowing songs about rambling and debauchery- BLENDER. One of the finest songwriters and best-kept secrets in the musical world - PASTE Todd Snider is a true songwriter-KRIS KRISTOFFERSON. Keith Richards said humor was rock and roll's greatest weapon, Bob Dylan proved it and Snider takes it to heart. For twelve years, Snider has been a satirist, class cutup and the rare artist who understands and celebrates the connections between the Stones, Dylan, Bill Hicks, John Prine, Mitch Hedberg, Kris Kristofferson, Hunter S. Thompson and Randy Newman. Snider's records are fun even when they aren't being funny, funny even when they're sad, and no less truthful for the laughs. Which brings us to The Devil You Know, a sparkling, smiling, snarling portrait of the doomed. Eric McConnell's as-yet-unnamed studio the same place where Loretta Lynn recorded her Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose was the setting for Snider's new album. It's the same structure where Snider made his critically acclaimed 2004 album East Nashville Skyline, and the musicians used the whole place. With The Devil You Know, Snider has assembled a bag of songs that speak to the politics of the day without ever speaking politics, that talk to the wars being fought away from cameras or reporters and that balance truth, beauty and humor.

Todd Snider, the East Nashville antihero, can always be counted on to deliver a brilliant spitball of humor and satire, shot across a classroom devoted to John Prine, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and the Rolling Stones. Here, on one of his most instantly accessible albums, he balances troubadourish recounts of personal experience and mythmaking (the getting-mugged-in-Memphis tale of "The Highland Street Incident"), the chronicling of not-so-famous-moments in history (Bob Dylan's ass-whipping of Phil Ochs in "Thin Wild Mercury"), and songs of romantic surrender. "All That Matters," a declaration of marital love with a nearly prayerful electric guitar solo from the great Will Kimbrough, shows how profound Snider can be in his simplicity. But his genius is best captured in the deceptively smart "Just Like Old Times," particularly in an exchange with a cop about a high school photo, carried in a wallet since 1982. Here, on his half-drunk vocals, Snider makes clear what he really is: A professional smart-ass whose bravado masks a wounded heart. --Alanna Nash

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 8, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New Door Records
  • ASIN: B000G2YCUQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,249 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Morton on August 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
As if Huckleberry Finn had grown up to be Mark Twain, this alright guy has sharpened his narrative skills to such an extent that his eye for life's details now cuts as deep, and as frequently, as his non-stop wit, genuine empathy and inclusive social consciousness. Every single song adds a new twist to either genre or subject matter, most are better than that, and several (for me 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8) have layers of surprise and subtext that reward like screen plays and tell like clinic notes. The energy with which he and his responsive, kick aayess band present these slices of low life matches the hard luck circumstances of his characters while revealing a passion and joy for existence that is his true message. These human dramas are occupational, spiritual, romantic, socio-economic, cultural, criminal, political, sometimes all of the above in combination, and as real as the ground is hard. This is the album that should have been titled "We Shall Overcome". And supposedly, the yarns that introduce these songs on stage are even funnier than the songs. With anyone else, that would be hard to believe. With Todd, you know it's true.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Snyder VINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"The Devil You Know" is yet another solid album from Todd. If you've never heard Todd Snider's music before, you are definitely missing out. He's tremendously talented, and writes very memorable songs. He's in a sort of folky-country-hippie-singer/songwriter vein.

This album, like all of his others, are based in good old country music when country music had stories to tell. Nearly all of the songs on this album are what I would call "story songs". So you actually have to actively listen to his lyrics to really truly enjoy all that's in them. The lyrics tell very vivid stories, funny and witty. This album has a few more darker hints on it, but I think that's a result of the chaotic world we're living in and Todd reacting to that.

"The Devil You Know" keeps growing on me with each repeat listening. I'm enjoying a new story or chorus each time. I would definitely recommend this album to people who like artists who write their own songs - really great, cool songs!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Spike on August 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
....what was it Todd Snider said towards the end of that last album (East Nashville Skyline)?? "...I don't know when it will be, but the next time you see me I'll be tapping to a whole new beat.... walking souls into the holes of my shoes down the sunny side of the street..." --- this album is definately different, but it has my five stars, and that's after a hell of a lot've listens (downloaded it early on)... tunes that i skipped over early on, later becoming my favorites; new meanings coming from songs i thought i had wrapped up the purpose of; Todd takes the despicable characters and losers (some we feel for, others we loathe and abhor-)... i hear a little of todd's midtown memphis attitude coming back with this album, as well... just a little of that "what the hell-ever, man.." Every Todd Snider album is different, this one is no exception. No point in me listing my current favorites, give it a listen, they'll come to you as they must.... warning, though: i've known snider fans who expected an 'east nashville skyline,pt 2' who gave this one a single listen and then out, claiming to really dig 2, 3 songs and do without the rest... i take the stance that it is these 'rest', those that many todd fans will go 'what's this?', which can be the most powerful songs on the album with a second, third, fourth listen.... if 'east nashville' was todds 'bruised orange', i'm not saying this is 'pink cadillac', but i am saying it's about as different as john prine went direction-wise with those.... this album is really powerful, really, really a powerful set've songs with a little more attitude than we may have expected from Todd....
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on August 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Todd Snider has a knack. Call it wit, call it wisdom, call it a few too many beers; whatever the case, he knows how to perfectly play upon the universal--but often overlooked--concept of irony. In a Snider song, everything is ironic...when you laugh you should be crying, when you're crying you should be laughing. You tap your toes and hum along...until you realize the song is about two criminals out for a little illegal fun. The good guys are never quite so good, and the bad guys ain't all that bad. Snider's characters are real people, in real situations, dealing with life as you or I would. It just so happens they have a narrator to tell their story.

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a catchy, thought-provoking album, much like all of Snider's work. Starting with sin and ending with redemption (of a sort), Snider takes the listener on a ride through his twisted, interesting, and highly accurate concept of reality. Stories and humor abound; so does heartache and despair. And through it all, you have country/rock/blues arrangements that keep you--and the performers--glued to the ground. Todd Snider has crafted another masterful album; you don't want to pass this one buy, not if you like your music real, honest, and true. And perhaps a bit quirky.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Willie Boy on April 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Will this guy ever get a freaking job!

I hope not cause he's too much fuuuun!

We'd miiss him like a long lost frieeend.

It's a long way to the top

if you want to sing your own songs!

I'm glad we made it!

It's been a long time comin'

Devil You Know has more great Todd Snider songs performed extremely well.

Nice coherent studio album

Consistent Quality

These same songs heard live are also very unique and satisfying.

The rocking songs done live in a more toned down acoustic style make the stock for these studio versions sky rocket.

Another Excellent Album By Todd Snider!

Highly Suggested Listening

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