Release Date: Mar 10, 2009
Record label: Rebel Group
After releasing the album Adam's Apple in 2004, John Wesley Harding took a step back from his career in music, publishing two novels under his given name Wesley Stace, but after a five-year layoff, Harding returned to the recording studio to make his 12th album, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, and it's not difficult to hear the influence of Harding's literary career in this batch of songs. Harding has always been a clever tunesmith who's consistently shown a way with words since he released his first album in 1988, but Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead reveals a greater maturity and lyrical polish than much of his previous work. The playful arrogance of Harding's early albums has faded in favor of witty but pointed meditations on the failings of both God and man, with the former receiving a few well-aimed satirical pokes on "A Very Sorry Saint" and "Congratulations (On Your Hallucinations)," and several specimens of the latter examined in "Sleepy People," "Sick Organism," and "The End.