To say that Paul Thorn is unique is like calling the Beatles a pretty good band. Hilarious one moment and deadly serious the next, he has a way of connecting the dots of relationships, politics and religion so that his songs about oddball characters and sticky situations ring true and often hit hard. One constant message is the power of hope and the need to take control of your own destiny. The autobiographical title cut finds him admiring both his preacher father and his pimp uncle for instilling a strong work ethic and the need to get into the game, whatever it may be. "On Better Days Ahead" he gives a nod to the misery suffered by the residents of New Orleans but notes it’s a waste of time crying about the past when there’s opportunity in the future. A similar sentiment emerges in "You’re Not the Only One" where misery loves company but he would rather focus on the blessing of being alive. On the relationship front, he rails against the troublesome "Weeds in My Roses", finds a liquid solution to crushed love, "Tequila Is Good For the Heart", examines the toxic mix of alcohol and tattoos, "Love Scar", takes a sympathetic look at a wasted relationship, "Walk A Mile in Rayann’s Shoes", takes a lusty look at a Dairy Queen girl, "Nona Lisa" and deals with changes that hurt but are just part of the deal, "That’s Life". Some of his best wit this time around comes from the all too true "I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love" which will remind you of every family reunion you’ve suffered through. As usual Thorn also casts a few stones at religion by challenging those that are deadly sure that theirs is the only way to salvation, "You Might Be Wrong" and by wondering if all his good deeds will be enough in the final score book, "I Hope I’m Doing This Right". Like the best preachers and pimps, Thorn can talk you into his point of view. With a rocking band adding just the right sonic support these are songs that will stick with you. A great listen. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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