Warren Zevon – Life’ll Kill Ya

The last two albums prior to his farewell LP, The Wind, Uncut's Album Of The Year for 2003

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Awareness of his own mortality seemed to bring an even sharper blade to Zevon’s cutting edge. It’s a sick society, and few were better equipped to point that out than he; accordingly, the general theme of sickness underlies much of Life’ll Kill Ya, from the cheery misanthropy of the title track to the brutal bodily awareness of “My Shit’s Fucked Up” and the closing prayer of “Don’t Let Us Get Sick”. Elsewhere, Zevon turned his caustic eye on cults and crusaders, and even offered a new take on the Elvis story in “Porcelain Monkey”, with the most compassionate moments saved for S&M love song “Hostage-O”. The mordant humour continued on My Ride’s Here, which features Carl Hiaasen and Hunter S Thompson as co-writers (on “Basket Case” and “You’re A Whole Different Person When You’re Scared”, respectively). Witness the cynicism firing “Sacrificial Lambs”, which condenses religion, politics and showbiz down to the same kernel of idolatrous sacrifice, and “Genius”, a bitter reflection on love, success and reputation in which “the poet who lived next door when you were young and poor/Grew up to be a backstabbing entrepreneur”.

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