San Diego’s Blaze Eisner’s 2011 EP, An Unquiet Mind was acoustic-based soft-rock music with bass and drum bottom; several tunes blended his clever lyrical messages with memorable melodies. New year, new sound, and American Spirit presents the singer/songwriter in a more introspective, coffeehouse folkie light. Eisner did it right: he stripped down his sound to mostly his guitar and Dylanesque harp, wrote five interesting, first-person songs with lyrics that go somewhere, and then had top local producer Sven-Erik Seaholm record them.
The title track is a rousing beginning. Incisive lyrics (available individually for all songs on the web) find Eisner singing as the personification of the spark that makes this country happen – he’s the “dirt in your nails,” the rich, the poor, and many other metaphors; collectively it makes for an inspirational anthem. “The Way It Goes” is a catchy protest song, with Eisner making points about those who plague our society: the greedy, those who hate and discriminate, and the lawyers and judges who enable them.
Eisner is a homeless alcoholic in “Drink to Forget,” a poignant message of lost hopes and dreams: “Wish I could help that old man find a ride/ But even I’m barely making it through.” Next, in the same key and meter as “Drink” is the final track, “To Get to You.” This similarity doesn’t hurt, as again, he is a lost soul in a big city, but this time he has a bright goal in his darkness. “Temptation called but I let it ring/ To get to you.”
American Spirit is consistently thought-provoking