Reviews:: Alden Penner Odes to the House

With all of the horrible injustice we read about daily, it’s easy to force messages of hope and freedom into even the most straightforward of songs. Simply put, it’s what we cling to; any medium that drives us to smash though the oppression or even worse (all things considered), the apathy. In an age when reality TV and free agency is more important than democracy and people actually bitch about first world problems while millions fight for basic human rights, we turn to song because there’s little else left.


Alden Penner, former front man for Unicorns and Clues, doesn’t sing out of desperation. No, his heartfelt four-song EP Odes to the House, is meant to inspire and sympathize. On Penner’s four month trek from Bamako, Mali to Haifa, Israel what he saw gave birth to four acoustic numbers that he offers up to those burdened by political and civil disarray. It’s a spiritual journey, one without a final destination. The songs, constructed on nothing more than an acoustic, were written to be sung anywhere and by anyone. Huddled in the corners, holding hands with eyes closed, hoping not to be detected, but dying to be heard. These songs echo off walls, dance around corners and shake the floors and ceilings. They fill rooms and cause your heart to pound till you think it might explode.


Odes to the House is Penner’s call to action. This isn’t about you. It’s about freedom and humankind. All of your fears and concerns need to be put aside. Prayer and unity will pull us through. Look, I’m not a religious man (and certainly know next to nothing about Bahá’í_Faith) or political in nature, but the comfort I find in Penner’s songs - and sorry to paraphrase a great man like Gandhi here - makes me what to become the changes we all “like” when we read about them on facebook. Isn’t the desire to make things better what we are all fighting for?

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MP3:: Alden Penner - Last Shelter
Label:: Buy unique handmade packages of ‘Odes to the house’



Tags: Alden Penner

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 8:56 am and is filed under 2011, Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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