LT Wade - Requiem For The American Dream (Dopeness Records)

LT Wade – Requiem For The American Dream (Dopeness Records)

Like many of my Stateside friends, LT Wade is, understandably, clearly concerned at the direction that his country has been taking over the past few years. What happened to the fabled old American Dream? If it was always just a myth in the first place, then events in recent history have surely pushed that ideal still further out of reach. Wade, coming from a rock and roll background, is somewhat outside of his comfort zone, having embraced elements of a more electronic nuance for his second album. That kind of thing can only go one of two ways – refreshing or laughable. The good news here is that it is most definitely the former.

Parkland‘, for instance, halfway through, calls to mind the woozy ambiance of Primal Scream‘s classic 1991 album ‘Screamadelica‘, its mellow bleeps and beats creating a similar kind of ‘out of body experience’ and it is full of warm-hearted charm.

Other moments are redolent of other masterpieces such as DJ Shadow‘s Endtroducing, Orbital‘s In Sides, and Brian Eno & David Byrne‘s 1981 piece de resistance My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. There are 11 tracks here, though three of them are spoken 30-second segments, and this is where the reference to the latter album comes to the fore, most notably on ‘We Call BS‘, which samples Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Emma Rodríguez’s speech in the wake of the 2018 Florida tragedy. “To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you. The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice, and our parents, to call BS.” It’s a pointed, and timely, reminder that nothing has changed and, indeed, if anything, has gotten worse. It’s an important message and one that is worth hammering home at every conceivable opportunity.

With all that said, I don’t want to paint the picture than Requiem For The American Dream is anything like a depressing album. It’s not. In fact, its closing gambit, ‘Imagine Us‘, is so steeped in cheery disco splendour that it’s not even too much of a stretch to imagine Justin Timberlake taking a stab at it, while ‘Caravan‘ is a whopping slab of funked-up cool that could easily soundtrack our summer, if only we were actually allowed to go out.

Can’t really fault the guy. A cracking album indeed.

Requiem For The American Dream is out now on Dopeness Records.

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