Jackson Browne w/ Ry Cooder – The Long Way Around

On Tuesday, Jackson Browne’s new album, Standing in The Breach, comes out…

For his first album in six years, Jackson Browne returns to a couple of places he’s more than familiar with by now: political and personal landscapes. And like he’s done somewhat in the past, but never to the extent in which he pursues it on ’Standing in the Breach,’ Browne explores the terrain from a mutual standpoint. One affects the other, and there’s no easy break when it comes to these dual matters of the heart.

On ’Standing in the Breach,’ Browne’s 14th album, the politics are in the center. But they stretch to the relationships surrounding it, so that the closing ‘Here’ isn’t just about adapting to all the changes in the world; it’s about making the best of the worst situations. If there’s hope to be found here, it’s in the acceptance that peace may just be a state of mind. And it’s a fitting end to an album that wrestles with Wall Street, the environment, religion and gun culture, and doesn’t really seem to provide much relief, let alone answers to the big questions.

“I don’t know what to say about these days,” he sings in ‘The Long Way Around,’ echoing one of his earliest triumphs. “It’s a little hard keeping track of what’s gone wrong … / I can feel my memory letting go some two or three disasters ago.” It’s as self-reflective as Browne gets on ‘Standing in the Breach,’ a moment where the personal and the political directly intersect. And more than any other song on the album, it serves as its, and Browne’s, worldview in 2014.

What’s on your mind tonite…?