10 Songs for the New Depression

Loudon Wainwright III has spent most of his career chronicling his own imperfections to subtle and overt comic effect. Over the years, however, he’s also been known to dip into topical song, performing songs of immediate commentary for NPR. Much like his album Social Studies, Wainwright turns the observations onto the world around him for 2010’s Songs for the New Depression. Names such as Alan Greenspan and New York Times economist Paul Krugman (and the economic mess the country is in) work their way into the songs by lyric and by arrangement. Wainwright strips things down to his own guitar or ukulele and the album clocks in at an economical thirty minutes. “Fear Itself” explains much of how Americans have been living for decades with a nod to John Maynard Keynes. “Halloween 2009” adds low-budget “effects” and a little reverb to its social commentary.  As a topical songwriter, Wainwright can’t be beat; he adds a sense of humanity to the crazy political and economic scene. He sings, “It’s not the end of the world/ it’s just the middle of the night,” like a reassuring father who has a way with a tune.

Release Date:
March 1, 2010
10 Songs for the New Depression
Track Listing
  1. Times Is Hard – 2:55
  2. House – 4:19
  3. On to Victory, Mr. Roosevelt (W. Lee O'Daniel) – 2:35
  4. Fear Itself – 2:34
  5. The Panic Is On (Hezekiah Jenkins) – 2:56
  6. The Krugman Blues – 3:11
  7. Halloween 2009 – 2:40
  8. Middle of the Night – 3:09
  9. Cash for Clunkers – 3:02
  10. Got a Ukulele – 2:39