Ticket To Immortality
Moving from grinding guitar solos to ethereal vocals, there is no other way to describe Gang of Losers than as a celebration of beautiful losers. The theme of ostracization, at all levels of society, dominates this eclectic yet thematically cohesive album. It's impossible to miss Lightburn's slick references to white-liberal guilt. Barely disguised in the song "Whites Only Party," with its cabaret casualness, the thorny subject of race resurfaces, full-blown, in the jazzy, rootsy, epic finale, "Find Our Way to Freedom."
Gang of Losers is a classic Dears album in terms of its complex musical and thematic range, veering from instant pop hits to oppressive ballads to lullaby show tunes. But what's most remarkable about Gang of Losers is that within the complicated lyrical and musical scheme, Lightburn's humour and humanity shine through the heavy-handed themes. In the end, forgiveness, of the self and the other, wins. "I need this song," Lightburn wails in "Find Our Way to Freedom," relenting, as he exchanges hate for love and mercy. And we need these songs, this album, too: if only to counter the world's indifference, and soothe the inner loser that thrives on all our worst fears.
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