There’s nothing like a song that makes you want to take a drive with the windows down, let the wind and sun tag team your face, and just let go for a while. Anne Freeman’s “City Watched Me Burn” is one of those songs.
The guitar work leading us into this work has the twang and tone of a Rubber Soul B-Side, an auditory premonition of the wry grin that colors the track’s energy. “Don’t you want to? You don’t have to / Take my hand and get it over with now” rings out the chorus, echoed by an infectious melody of “oohs” that is catchy enough to fool the ear into thinking everything is a-ok despite the visceral nature of lines like opener “Last night the city watched me burn/ sick and tired of waiting for my turn/ a simple smile to people that I hate/ you say it’s virtuous to wait.”
The inherent soul of the presentation’s wink is the altogether human (and unfortunately too-relatable) contrast of being so sick of something that you’re willing to humor it for your own schadenfreude. One thing is certain, though: there’s no false joy in the character and humanity infused here. Freeman’s voice and lyricism, the structural integrity of her songwriting- it all makes for a damn fine experience.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to it again.
“City Watched Me Burn” is out now and streaming everywhere. Keep your ears peeled.
Review by Bobby Guard