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CD Review: Street Sweeper Social Club

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The Deal: Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello teams up with The Coup's Boots Riley.

The Good: First, it should be praised that the duo released the album independently, with the help of Warner Bros. instead of going with a label and worrying about a record deal, etc. The album's music rests somewhere between the hard grooves of RATM and the simplicity of Morello's solo work as The Nightwatchman. He isn't afraid to tear off a solo from time to time, and it's not nearly as political as his solo stuff. Riley's delivery is more like spoken word at times, but it all works well with the music.

The Bad: It's the closest Morello's been to a RATM record since RATM ... but it's still not Rage. With the spoken-word delivery, songs can begin to sound the same, but Morello's guitar work and choruses help to set them apart from each other.

The Verdict: Morello seems to be trying to do as much different stuff as possible, and that's a good thing. He's diversifying his portfolio and it all stands strong.

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