Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - "Answers Belie" (Album)

Folk Rock Duo Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz continue their conscious musical evolution with the haunting and thought-provoking new album "Answers Belie", out now on digital platforms. This is the Bay Area prolific duo's 8th full-length album. They have also released 4 EP's and 5 singles, and that's not including solo material. "Answers Belie" finds them once again mining for truth and meaning while speaking truth to power through poetic disobedience and seasoned song craftsmanship.

Eric Anders explains the underlying meaning and literary inspiration behind the mysterious title: "The title track is about how the answers we’ve had to life’s big questions often disguise/reveal our deepest uncertainties and fears. In his poem, “The Second Coming,” Yeats writes “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” The “answers” that the worst hold so tight to not only belie their fear and insecurity; they are also the foundation for their passionately intense violence against those who are otherwise."

Eric describes the first song on the album, “Slow Movin’ Nightmare” as “a dirge for American democracy.” The second song, “Force of Old” starts out “Heard about a war to come/Heard it might be unlike wars of old/Heard it won’t be civil/Heard it might be hot or cold.” The third song is a reimagining and updating of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address: “Long Ol’ Civil War.” 

But not all the songs on this album are political. Some are philosophical (the title track, “Answers Belie”) while the other three are sentimental.  With the song “The Hardest Lesson,” Eric returns to what was a common theme for him when he wrote the lyrics for his first three albums: the repetition of dysfunctional relationships. Of course, this was a theme before he met and married his wife in 2005.  

“Eyes, A Child, Bedside” is Eric’s ode to his maternal grandfather who was a Harley-riding CHiP who developed MS and spent the eighteen years Eric knew his grandfather in a hospital bed in his grandparents’ living room–because healthcare sucks in the U.S. even for people who devote themselves to civil service for decades.

The final song on the album, “I Hope Time Will Be Kind,” is an ode to Eric’s three kids and an expression of the universal fear of growing old. It is also an expression of his fear that the world is going to get worse for his kids with climate change and the rightward drift of U.S. and world politics.

This new release was produced by Mike Butler.
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - "Answers Belie" (Album) Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - "Answers Belie" (Album) Reviewed by Albert Miller on 11.8.23 Rating: 5

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