Graham Parker & the Rumour: Three Chords Good

Primary Wave Records

Parker has explored his genteel, NPR songwriter side of late, but the angry, acerbic young pub rocker is never far behind. He's reunited here with old mates the Rumour for the first time in 31 years and released ones of his best albums since. The music's diverse and upbeat while his biting wit is on full display, tempered by bemused resignation. He dips into reggae ("Snake Oil Capital of the World"), channels Van Morrison on the surprisingly upbeat title track, cops Dylan on the anti-war paean "Arlington's Busy," and evokes the Small Faces in his dyspeptic state of the union, "Last Bookstore in Town," stating: "A book you want to close by some young author of experimental prose, impossible to get through, it'll make you comatose." (4 out of 5 stars)