John Fogerty: Revival (Fantasy)

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John Fogerty: I Can't Take It No More
John Fogerty: Revival (Fantasy)

Now back on his original label after decades of litigation, animosity and a refusal to play the Creedence Clearwater Revival hits that made his repuation, Fogerty sounds like a man at peace with himself -- but as angry as ever about his country being involved in yet another foreign war.

On this album which doesn't stray far from that winning CCR template of short, sharp swamp-rock and quasi-psychedelic songs, he even offers up an amusing, archetypal slice of CCR about how you can't go wrong in a band or at a jukebox if you play "that Creedence song".

Elsewhere he rails against George Bush with as much fire as he did back in the days of Nixon and Vietnam. His focus is injustice and how wars affect working folks while the boys at the top can bail their kids out.

The ferocious I Can't Take It No More is a worthy successor to his classic anti-war Fortunate Son (which it namechecks). "I'm sick and tired of your dirty little war . . . stop talkin' about stayin' the course, you keep beatin' that old dead horse . . ."

And while Gunslinger seems a slightly misplaced sentiment (America needs a strong leader now -- which rather ignores that was what people thought about Bush), you can't fault Fogerty for distilling his rage to greater effect than the likes of Neil Young who scatters his shots.

Fogerty comes off as a smart sniper.

It isn't all anger: on Summer of Love he conjures up the spirit of Hendrix and '67, and everywhere are echoes of classic, party-friendly CCR.

On a cursory listen this could be dismissed as some kind of retrovision plundering of his old catalogue, but nothing could be further from the truth. Fogerty (who is interviewed at Elsewhere, see tag) is reinvigorated, his subjects hauled from the headlines, and he sounds utterly relevant and rocking.

A welcome revival. 

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