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TELL’s Thought-Provoking Social Messages in ‘Life in Reverse’

Political songwriting remains a timeless art form, and in Massachusetts, musicians are delving deep into social commentary with renewed vigor.

Over the past year, a range of artists including Sapling and D-Tension, who transitioned from rap to punk, have directed their musical prowess towards poignant issues. From critiquing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade to addressing the tumultuous events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, these musicians are using their platform to voice societal concerns.

Adding to this narrative is David Wildman, a seasoned guitarist and frontman deeply rooted in New England’s music and activism scene. Known for his contributions to Worcester Magazine and his keen insight into the local music landscape, Wildman steps into the spotlight with his latest endeavor, the succinct yet powerful six-track album “Life In Reverse.”

The album serves as a platform for Wildman to articulate his views on the current state of America, oscillating between abstract reflections and vivid storytelling. Backed by the cohesive musicianship of bassist Jay Raffi, drummer Patrick Crann, and guitarist Jim Foster, Wildman embarks on a musical journey that is both introspective and socially charged.

The album opens with “Owned,” a track reminiscent of R.E.M. characterized by intricate guitar and bass interplay. The song delves into the challenging process of breaking free from a cult-like environment while grappling with the lingering influence of its enigmatic leader. Wildman’s collaboration with Raffi shines through in this track, showcasing their musical synergy.

Transitioning to “Sweet Life,” Wildman confronts the repercussions of misinformation and conspiracy theories, particularly in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing parallels to bands like the Killers and the Gaslight Anthem, the track blends ‘80s influences with contemporary indie rock sensibilities, underscoring Wildman’s versatile vocal delivery.

“Shotgun Future” unfolds as a poignant narrative akin to the haunting storytelling of “Pumped Up Kicks,” addressing themes of gun violence and societal unrest. Through metaphorical lyricism, Wildman sheds light on a nation veering towards a troubling intersection of aggression and political extremism.

As the album progresses, tracks like “Shell” and “I Wish I Could Believe In God” offer introspective musings on isolation and faith, juxtaposing sunny melodies with introspective lyrics. Wildman’s lyrical depth shines through as he navigates themes of loss, spirituality, and existential contemplation.

The album culminates with “Space Time Continuum,” a reflective ballad that contemplates mortality and the inevitable passage of time. Through poignant lyrics, Wildman delves into the universal truth that transcends individual experiences—the inevitability of mortality.

In crafting “Life In Reverse,” Wildman emerges as a master storyteller, weaving a tapestry of narratives that straddle the line between reality and imagination. Drawing inspiration from personal encounters and internal reflections, Wildman’s lyrical journey is both introspective and poetic, inviting listeners to ponder the complexities of the human experience.