By Krystal Sidzyik, Senior Staff Writer
Laura Burhenn of the local band the Mynabirds isn’t messing around in the band’s sophomore album, “Generals.” Burhenn is calling for a revolution on the politically charged pop album.
Her inspiration for the album comes from the 1963 Richard Avedon photo “Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR),” a portrait of the DAR upper class ladies in pristine satin gowns. Avedon captured the snugness and elitism of the old world aristocracy.
This album comes from an entirely different place compared to its predecessor, “What We Lose in the Fire, We Gain in the Flood.” It’s much more direct, determined and purposeful. With the return of her producer, Richard Swift, Burhenn calls for a revolution while staying loyal to the bands pop sound and without the exaggerated and hyped political statements.
“Generals” opens with the track “Karma Debt,” an electronic-tinged dreamy ballad that draws the listener in like a fish to a lure. Burhenn sings, “We hold our homes like credit cards/And hope to pay the rent.” She goes on to sing, “I give it all, I give it all for a legacy of love.” The same words are found in the albums closing track, “Greatest Revenge,” where Burhenn sings about American greed. She sings, “Oh the American sheep, oh the American sheep/What happened to our cavalry? Now pork is fed to the fattest pig.” The album’s dreamy hue closes the album just as it opens it.
Some gems found throughout the album include the title track, “Generals,” “Mightier than the Sword” and “Disarm.” “Generals” deviates from the slower pace found in some of the other songs by being an upbeat, promising jam. Burhenn sings, “I’m calling on my generals, my daughters/My revolutionaries/We got strength in numbers, and they’re going to pay for it.” She calls on her revolutionaries to grab their marching drums and get their black boots and war paint on.
In “Mightier than the Sword,” Burhenn returns to a slower song backed by piano. The ballad inspires hope and comfort: “I know there is a plain angst/Caught into your arms and up in your veins and you think/ There’s nothing you could do they haven’t already done to you.” Burhenn calls on her listeners not to give up and not to worry if they lose hope. She closes the track with, “When you forget the words, I will sing them for you.”
“Disarm” echoes the upbeat feeling that’s also in the track “Generals.” It’s electronic infused and fast paced. Burhenn asks, “My love, what are you fighting for?” Then goes on to sing, “My love, you’ll never even the score.”
Burhenn brilliantly highlights the troubles she sees in America through her lyrics without becoming dull and uninteresting as so many singer-songwriters do when they make a political album. There’s no doubt that the Mynabirds are well on their way to a successful career. The band is currently on a nationwide tour and is set to play the Maha Music Festival on August 8. Tickets can be purchased for $35 at www.mahamusicfestival.com.