Singer-songwriter Todd Snider has been making records for almost 20 years, but it didn't really come together for him until 2004's East Nashville Skyline, a smart and funny LP of love songs and social commentary. Its 2006 follow-up, The Devil You Know, remains his definitive work: a perfect balance of the social, political, and personal observations that Snider does so well. Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables doesn't break much from formula, unless you read the opening "In the Beginning" and closing "Big Finish" as conceptual bookends. In between are songs about Wall Street dickheads ("New York Banker") and unemployment ("In Between Jobs"). Snider tosses in backroads rockers, Stonesy rave-ups, and bluesy Americana. It's his most aggravated album, told from the perspective of the 99 percent. Tough times call for tough songs. — Gallucci
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