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Looking East

In "Information Wars," the most provocative cut on Jackson Browne's new album, Looking East, Mr. Browne, a 47-year-old Los Angeles singer and songwriter, mounts an attack on America's television culture that includes an ingenious collage of variations on familiar advertising slogans. Reiterated without their brand names, the slogans are turned against themselves in a way that reveals the Orwellian seductiveness of television. For well over a decade, Mr. Browne has been a staunch practitioner of that most questionable of genres: the protest song - questionable because melding rhymed editorials with pop tunes usually trivializes the subject being addressed. "Information Wars" transcends the genre because it doesn't merely editorialize it; it illustrates the uneasy symbiosis between pop music and advertising. The catchiest melodic hooks, after all, are those that lend themselves most readily to instant exploitation by Madison Avenue.

Stephen Holden, The New York Times, February 18, 1996

"Culver Moon" is Browne's breakthrough; musically raw, lyrically caustic, an ode to love and lust in a decomposing world. The album's overall message is clear: He intends to keep growing. Beneath that preternaturally pretty exterior, we're finding, is a core of stubborn creativity. Browne's a shrewd craftsman who industriously seeks, and finds ways to mirror his open-eyed passage through life. In his last album, he had to tell us he was alive; here, he proves it.

Tony Scherman, Entertainment Weekly, February 16, 1996