Review Summary: Good songwriting, good musicianship and singing with strong political views, that will surely polarise Anders' listeners. A brilliant version of CCR's "Who'll Stop The Rain".
Eric Anders - Eleven Nine
Skipping through various online stations, I heard by chance Eric Anders’ version of the Creedence classic Who’ll Stop The Rain. Great version, Anders tried, and succeeded, to make a balance between the original and his own take on the song. Looking through the available info, it turned out he recorded it for his current and seventh album in line, Eleven Nine. Next step was his homepage. There, everything is completely clear - the album cover, the political stance Anders takes, the causes he supports, why such a title and why this CCR song.
You see, to say that Eric Anders doesn’t like the current US president Donald Trump would be an understatement. It is all over this album and in some ways, it is comparable to some political statements taken by such luminaries as Bob Dylan and Neil Young. The sentiment is probably stronger due to the fact that Anders recorded all of this material in Spring of 2017. As far as Who’ll Stop The Rain is concerned, it itself had an undertow of a political statement, a bit understated compared to what Anders includes in his lyrics here in songs like Looking Forward To Your Fall and A Man for No Season. To underline his message, Anders closes the album with a medley I Hear Them All (This Land Is Your Land).
So if you have strong contrary feelings towards his political stance or support for such groups as Lambda Legal, you will probably steer clear of this album. But what about everybody else and not only who strongly support his stance? There I mean people who would also like to know whether his music has any merit in itself?
In that respect, the album should have a definite go ahead. Anders is obviously a very good singer and guitarist and is supported here by an excellent crew that includes guitar player Jeff Fielder from Mark Lanegan’s band and is produced by Matthew Emerson Brown from Trespassers William. The passion with which Anders wrote, played and sang this material obviously influenced the fact that the music comes across fully accomplished. Anders is able to, at the same time, to produce a perfect vehicle for his message and at the same time make you put the message aside and listen to the music. That itself can make the message even more powerful. It just depends whether you like it or not.