2015, Music

Payola (2015) by Desaparecidos

I was really surprised how much I liked their original album. Noticing my old rating for it I feel like I have bump it up a bit, as I like it more than the rating suggests.

But this one…

For one thing, it certainly sounds like the band hasn’t changed much in the interim. They’ve reunited and they’re going to sound the same. That’s fine I guess. I don’t think I should expect different. But I guess I was expecting better songs. I feel like the first record is better musically and lyrically in that regard.

About those lyrics: The first time out Oberst’s lyrics were of an easy-to-enjoy vague critique of American capitalism, as befits punk. Here the targets are more specific and Oberst’s political naivete is much, much more on display. That may seem like an odd thing to say now that he’s much older, but some of these lyrics are cringe-worthy in their reflection of his point of view – which seems to lack a little bit of self-awareness, especially a song like “10 Steps Behind”.

All that being said, I can put it on in the background and enjoy it reasonably enough. It’s when I pay too much attention that I worry that people might be taking him seriously. (And I should note that I have this problem with most political punk music. Musicians are not and should not be known for their political theory.)


  1. “The Left is Right” 2:25
  2. “The Underground Man” 2:24
  3. “City on the Hill” 3:09
  4. “Golden Parachutes” 2:03
  5. “Radicalized” 2:49
  6. “MariKKKopa” 2:46
  7. “Te Amo Camila Vallejo” 3:38
  8. “Ralphy’s Cut” 3:22
  9. “Backsell” 3:13
  10. “Slacktivist” 2:54
  11. “Search the Searches” 2:31
  12. “10 Steps Behind” 2:58
  13. “Von Maur Massacre” 2:26
  14. “Anonymous” 3:44
  • Conor Oberst: vocals, guitar
  • Denver Dalley: guitar
  • Ian McElroy: keyboards
  • Landon Hedges: bass, vocals
  • Matt Baum: drums
  • With cameos by Tim Kasher of Cursive (on “City on the Hill”), Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! (on “Golden Parachutes”), and the So So Glos (on “Slacktivist”).

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