Greg Holden’s 4th studio album, World War Me, is a unique project that deserves your attention.
Since the release of 2015’s Chase the Sun album, Greg Holden has toured extensively, gone from New Yorker to Californian, gotten married, and spent time working on himself as a musician, a songwriter, and an individual in a sea of humanity. He is the sort of songwriter whose strength lies in telling stories from the perspective of other personas such as the young gay man in “Boys in the Street” whose father who doesn’t understand him, or the young couple struggling to make ends meet while they hang on to “The American Dream”. These voices are not his own, but they are authentic and convey their struggles as if they were.
On this latest effort, World War Me, due to be released on March 29th, Holden chooses to use his own voice to address his own struggles and inner conflicts as he finds his way in a world which has become difficult to make sense of in the last few years. As an introspective, self-examing work, this album explores Greg Holden’s personal war within himself in the context of the world we are all living in today, something he is not alone in. There is a refreshing vulnerability in the lyrics as well as an invigorated protest of the status quo showcased perfectly in “The Power Shift,” a modern era protest song that in essence puts the powers that be on notice to expect those wrestling with how to deal with the direction of the world to take control instead of being controlled. The lyric “so keep moving forward now, let the people going backward find their own way out” is the most content moment of the album, finding comfortability in the fact that nobody can stop our forward progress.
The most noticeable motif of this album is the constant pulse of the drums. The intoxicatingly, simple rock groove that exists within nearly every track on the record gives the sense that no matter what we do, life doesn’t stop for us. It is our responsibility to move at the pace of the world, to adapt and to overcome. “Temptation” is part of that process. It speaks to the impulse to just let yourself go and lash out. Anger and frustration needs an outlet and needing to let the ugly side out is part of the process that’s necessary to get to the other side.
In “Something Beautiful,” one of the singles from the album, the chorus, which will be easily embraced by live audiences, advises that “if you’re going to open your mouth, say something beautiful” while also reminding us that “every word counts.” It isn’t difficult to imagine where these concepts come from. The last track on the album is
World War Me is a demonstration of how Greg Holden has so far made sense of the world and his own place in it. It’s an easily relatable struggle that more than a few of us have faced at one time or another and might well serve as an inspiration for any attempting to make sense of how to navigate the world we live in. The rhythm of this album runs the gamut from negative to defeated, to hopeful to empowered. This album and these songs take us through that process.
Greg Holden’s newest album may well be his strongest yet, and as his first self produced effort, it is especially meaningful. Longtime fans of will know and love the way he has always expressed himself in his music; new fans will appreciate World War Me for the very same reason. Expect to see Greg Holden on the road in support of World War Me, and plan to add your voice to these songs
Changes OnThe Run
- Something Beautiful
- Chase The Money
- What I Deserve
- The Power Shift
- Nobody’s Perfect
- I’m Not Your Enemy
Greg Holden kicks off this World War Me tour on April 25th at The Red Room at Cafe 939 in Boston Massasschutes – the currently announced tour dates can be found below.
4.25 The Red Room at Cafe 939 – Boston, MA
4.26 Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 – New York, NY
5.1 Ortlieb’s Lounge – Philadelphia, PA
5.2 Jammin Java – Vienna, VA
5.5 The Basement – Nashville, TN
5.10 Freilichtbühne am Kalkberg – Bad Segeberg, Germany
5.12 Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
5.14 Ponyhof – Frankfurt, Germany
5.15 Zehner – München, Germany
5.16 Hangar 49 – Berlin, Germany
5.17 Altes Pfandhaus – Cologne, Germany
5.19 Nochtspeicher – Hamburg, Germany
5.23 St Pancras Old Church – London, United Kingdom
5.24 The Eagle Inn – Manchester, United Kingdom
6.1 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
6.3 Sunset – Seattle, WA
6.4 McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel – Portland, OR
6.6 The Hotel Utah – San Francisco, CA
6.7 Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
Album Review by: Greg Deinlein