The Devil Tried to Kill Me sounds like a giant Folk Fest jam, if at least half the participants were talented jazz musicians. It’s a fun, mainly instrumental album that can be listened to for pleasure or played while studying. There are many songs about Obama out there. Kiama for Obama is catchy, but not nearly as funny as Obama is Beautiful World or epic as Barack OBollywood. Nevertheless it’s a good album opener. The lyrics to Africa are a little on the ridiculous side and this can be seen in Taj Mahal’s deliverance. He sounds great, but “Africa, if I were a hospice worker . . . I would remove the flies from your eyes” feels forced. In the end The Devil Tried to Kill Me goes beyond its idiosyncratic lyrics and is worth a listen.
Published in Volume 64, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 28, 2010)