Jerusalem

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Notorious well before its release, Steve Earle's Jerusalem features no fewer than five powerful songs addressing the events of 9/11 and their aftermath, including a sensitive recounting of John "The American Taliban" Walker's unsettling odyssey. Earle has already been, and will continue to be, ripped by conservatives for "John Walker's Blues," but this somber, deliberate testimony is most persuasive in its depiction of a young man whose spiritual quest leads him first to Allah and then to the wrong place at the wrong time, culminating in his arrival back on native soil "with my head in a sack." Its opening line -- "I am just an American boy raised on MTV" -- echoes ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Notorious well before its release, Steve Earle's Jerusalem features no fewer than five powerful songs addressing the events of 9/11 and their aftermath, including a sensitive recounting of John "The American Taliban" Walker's unsettling odyssey. Earle has already been, and will continue to be, ripped by conservatives for "John Walker's Blues," but this somber, deliberate testimony is most persuasive in its depiction of a young man whose spiritual quest leads him first to Allah and then to the wrong place at the wrong time, culminating in his arrival back on native soil "with my head in a sack." Its opening line -- "I am just an American boy raised on MTV" -- echoes "Johnny Come Lately" on Earle's 1988 magnum opus, Copperhead Road, suggesting the song is the next chapter in an epic about three generations of fighting men, this latest returning home reviled. Elsewhere the gritty, anxious rock guiding "Ashes to Ashes," "American v.60 The Best We Can Do," and "Conspiracy Theory," along with Earle's restrained growl of a voice, offer vivid lessons in historical inevitability, as does the title number, which closes the album by referencing biblical prophecy concerning Judgment Day. These are all strong, thought-provoking songs guaranteed to spark heated debates. But the strength of Jerusalem also lies in the songs that aren't shaped by the events of 9/11, which happen to be among Earle's finest. "The Kind" is one of the most winsome heartbreakers he's ever written. The jaunty Tex-Mex air of "What's a Simple Man to Do" frames a compelling tale of a fellow who made some mistakes and went back on his word, but only in the name of survival. And the languid memoir "I Remember You," with guest vocals from Emmylou Harris, is a stirring interior monologue of a man haunted by the memory of a woman he shouldn't have let slip away. In Earle's wondrously wrought Jerusalem, answers raise more questions and the truth lies somewhere in the shadows.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Say what you will about him, but Steve Earle has never been afraid of getting people mad at him if he thought it was the right thing to do, and since his mid-'90s career rebirth after overcoming multiple drug addictions, Earle seems far more interested in stirring people up with a productive purpose in mind rather than cheesing folks off just for the hell of it. Like nearly everyone in the United States, Earle was struck with anger and confusion following the events of September 11, 2001, and his thoughts on the subject form the backbone of his album Jerusalem. But instead of an appeal to patriotism or a tribute to the fallen, Earle has crafted a vision of America thrown into chaos, where the falling of the World Trade Center towers is just another symbol of a larger malaise which surrounds us. Before its release, Jerusalem already generated no small controversy over the song "John Walker's Blues," which tells the tale of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh as seen through his own eyes. While "John Walker's Blues" is no more an endorsement of Lindh's actions than Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" was a tribute to mass-murderer Charles Starkweather, even though it's one of the album's strongest songs, if anything, it doesn't go quite far enough. While Earle's thumbnail sketch of how an American boy could find a truth in the words of Mohammad rings true, it never quite explains making the leap from studying Islam to taking up arms thousands of miles from home. Still, it's makes the point that the issues of our new "war on terrorism" are as relevant to our own backyards as the Middle East. As Earle tries to sort out the hows and whys of our news fears in "Ashes to Ashes" and "Conspiracy Theory," he can't help but think of other evidence of the erosion of the American dreams -- the growing gulf between the rich and the poor "Amerika V. 6.0 The Best We Can Do", the flaws of our judicial system "The Truth", illegal aliens chasing their own bit of an increasing elusive prosperity "What's A Simple Man to Do". Earle asks a lot of questions on Jerusalem for which no one has the answers, but for all the rage, puzzlement, and remorse of these songs, the title track closes the album with a message of fervent hope -- that the answers can't be found in hate or violence, but peace and forgiveness. Jerusalem is the work of a thinking troublemaker with a loving heart, and while more than a few people will be angered by some of his views, Earle asks too many important questions to ignore, and the album is a brave and thought-provoking work of political art.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
Positioning himself somewhere between liberal scolder and beatific wise man, Earle revisits the astringent riff rock of his finest albums.

Positioning himself somewhere between liberal scolder and beatific wise man, Earle revisits the astringent riff rock of his finest albums.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/2002
  • Label: Artemis Records
  • UPC: 699675114725
  • Catalog Number: 51147
  • Sales rank: 50,858

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steve Earle Primary Artist, Organ, Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Harmonium, Vocals, Mini Moog
Emmylou Harris Vocals
Eric Ambel Guitar, Vocals
Dane Clark Drum Loop
Ken Coomer Drums
John Jarvis Electric Piano
Kelly Looney Bass
Kenny Malone Percussion, Drums
Will Rigby Percussion, Cymbals, Drums
Patrick Earle Percussion
Technical Credits
Ray Kennedy Engineer
Steve Earle Liner Notes
Tim Hatfield Engineer
Brad Talbott Art Direction
Twangtrust Producer
Tony Fitzpatrick Illustrations, Cover Art
Hank Williams Mastering
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