The Homeless Gospel Choir - I Used To Be So Young

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Review by Dillon Crader

I want to start this off by saying that I honestly don’t like folk or country music; except the classics like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Having this preset in my mind, I was curious as to how I would feel about The Homeless Gospel Choir. And the first time I listened to I Used To Be So Young, I honestly wasn’t the biggest fan. But while working on this review, I continued to listen to the album over and over to get a real feel of it, and after several times listening to I Used To Be So Young, I couldn’t help but sing along and actually feel pretty upbeat and happy.

I guess one thing I will throw right out there is that The Homeless Gospel Choir talks about a lot of political issues throughout this album, which I really respect. An example is in the track, “Holiday Song”. The basis of this song really is “we buy everything because we’re American”. Basically this song is about Americans only thinking about themselves and without worry for others, such as sweatshop laboring and blood diamonds. I would highly recommend listening to this album just based on the lyrical content.

“Some People,” the second track on the album is by far the most attention grabbing to me. This song has a folk-punk feeling to it and it is downright awesome. Right after the first chorus, you can hear the drum sticks clicking in the background while very classic folk-like bass line plays along. This song really makes me want to just want to jump up and dance around and look like an idiot.

Derek Zanetti’s voice is really unique and really sets in stone why you would classify The Homeless Gospel Choir being in the folk genre. The first couple of times I listened to this album, his vocals were honestly the least appealing thing to me. I don’t know when my mind changed, but now I love everything about his vocals. Maybe I just got used to them, but either way I can say I really appreciate and love the way he sings on this album.

Overall I Used To Be So Young is an amazing album even though it took me a while to realize it. It tends to be a little dark at times, but just because Derek talks about issues that not a lot of people and other musicians like to discuss, but that’s what makes I Used To Be So Young so unique.

Rating: 4/5

Listen to "Holiday Song"