Sound — 7
When you're politically active, calling yourself the black Robin Hood of 21st century music, you can't play songs about love and self-searching for a long time. Tom Morello wasn't sartisfied with his guitar duties in Audioslave and that made him create his own project The Nightwatchman to express his revolutionary ideas. Of course he wasn't thinking about recording back in 2003 when he started performing in front of small crowds in L.A., but then all of a sudden, three years later there's a whole album with 13 tracks. And no wonder it's called One Man Revolution. It all looks suspicious from the beginning, like the CD cover -- first you look at it and you can't understand what is wrong there. And then you notice it -- it's an acoustic guitar on the shoulder instead of an electric one somewhere around the knees. You would expect something loud from the man behind the Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave riffs and the 26th greatest guitarist of all time (according to Rolling Stone magazine), instead it's all very quiet, simple and folk, stuffed with slogans encouraging people to Stand up and stand strong. Morello decided he doesn't need anybody's help to express himself -- he's proudly alone on the record -- singing, playing guitar and harmonica. The record shares the moods of great sorrow and gritty emotions. The tunes are mostly gloomy with a plain acoustic guitar and eventual whining keyboards. Things get a little more cheerful with the lead single of the album -- The Road I Must Travel, which features a few other instruments apart from guitar. The song would make a good hymn for a Irelish Revolution -- there are army-like drums, country tunes, sing-alone chorus and a very patriotic vibe. Flesh Shapes The Day is almost rock 'n' roll, but without drums and with a few dirty-sounding chords. Both of the tracks show Morello at his best and make the most impressive songs out of the whole album.
Lyrics — 8
Known for his outspoken socialist politics, Morello couldn't avoid social topics on the album. He's sure that the world needs songs of rebellion and revolution right now and that's the main target of the album. With an unhidden hate to billionaires, Morello spits out bitter lyrics and sings sad tails about war with a sorrow in his voice. He's not shy about say who he's blaming in particular. While it's clear who's the main shitty politician, sharing the duties of the president of the USA now, the artist also sings about Colin Powell's lies. Claiming Bruce Springsteen as one of his influences, Morello sings in a similar manner. And it turns out that he's got a deep voice, reach for overtones in the lower notes.
Overall Impression — 7
You're gonna love the album if you're not bored to death after the third song. Sorry to admit it, but it takes a great love for Morello's work and sharing his ideas to listen to the end of the album. Eventually the point of the record is not to attract a huge crowd to the project, but humble attempt to make a revolution for those who needs it. It's about the message that the songs carry and to make the protest lyrics more obvious, the artist didn't vary the music with too many sounds. One Man Revolution is another side of Morello's talent and his guitar skills are just the background here.