All Things to All Men...

One of the things I find inspiring about the music of Cinematic Orchestra has to do with their commitment to genre-bending: they mix hip hop and jazz, cynical/prophetic observations about the status quo with a gospel sensibility of hope to say nothing of the way they play games with tradition and technology throughout their best creations. For example, "All Things to All Men," two cultures embrace and challenge us all with the voice of Job at wits end - and a little of Jeremiah's tears, too:

And now it seems
as if we're used to the shegree
We made our beds
and now we hate where these beds be
Took nothing at all to part this Red Sea
I'm a shackled child
singing the good song of Freedom


They've got no pride
they interrupt our grieving
Tear drops dropping
for the pain of the world
My best friend dies
when she was just a young girl
Left me here, to fend for myself
Now the pain never leaves
We just learn to cope
so when the devil needs hangin
will you tie up the rope and shout PULL!

Let's put an end to this bullzen thing
How many years
before we practice what we preach
How many tears
before we truly clinch the peak
Only to find that
there is no honey on the moon
Official goon
with the unofficial croon
I'm All Things to All Men
All of the Women
All the Children
Just say when
and I'll take you to my Tardis
Who's the Hardest
Who's the hardest

Look at the monster you make
look at the monster you pay
But you claim no responsibility
cause it's each to his self
in these times that we live
Does God have a sense of humor
then the joke's on us
Cause we're chasing our tails
for how long now?

As with other psalms of lament, I hear God speaking through artists who are totally aware of what it feels like to be left alone and manipulated - the joke's on us cause we're chasing our tails for how long now? What's more I hear God's voice in what isn't being said, too: this is not the only truth... even if you are certain that you are the hardest! This is like Malcolm X meeting Herbie Hancock at evening prayer at the home of Philip Glass - with a bit of St. Paul and Dr. Who thrown in for good measure. Take a listen and pray with this song for yourself. It is freakin' brilliant.

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