Jennifer O’Connor’s Lyrics Cut Straight to the Heart of a Desperate Situation


Jennifer O’Connor
Surface Noise
Kiam

Courtesy of Kiam Records

       
Thanks to her dry, deadpan delivery, Jennifer O’Connor could fool a careless listener into thinking she’s cool and detached. Au contraire. On her fine sixth album, and first outing in five years, this unassuming yet gifted singer-songwriter quietly injects her catchy folk-pop with shots of undiluted raw emotion, telling gripping stories of hearts in turmoil without slipping into cheesy melodrama. As evidenced by the use of her music in an iPhone ad and such TV shows as Orange Is the New Black, O’Connor can craft smooth melodies you’ll want to hum all day, but her real gift is the casually tossed-off lyric that cuts straight to the heart of a desperate situation. “Where do you go, when the road ahead just ends?/’Cause you made the same wrong turn over and over again,” she murmurs in “The Road,” while “It’s Gonna Get Worse” finds her calmly asking, “Tell me why you stand there, staring at your feet,” adding tersely, “Take out the trash.” Elsewhere, the hushed closing track “Black Sky Blanket” would do Lou Reed proud. Title to the contrary, Surface Noise is insightful, subtle, and intriguing.
 
 

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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