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Spirit of ’76 by Ray Stevens

Now into his sixth decade of making music, Ray Stevens has proven that his comedic instincts and his eye for current events are as keen as ever.

These days, he’s set his sights on what he views as shortcomings in his U.S. homeland rather than targeting self-righteous churches in Pascagoula, Miss., or men who are fond of streaking, as he has on past efforts. And he’s on to something: 2010’s “Come to the USA” garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube. On “Mi Casa, Su Casa,” Ray again addresses the problem of illegal immigrants in the United States, and disparages the national debt on “Obama Budget Plan.”

On “The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore,” Ray expresses dismay at the TSA and its heavy-handed searching methods, while “Grandpa Voted Democrat” uncovers the deceptive practice of casting fraudulent ballots under the names of deceased persons.

He stays true to an effective formula throughout, using satire to comment on the political and social climate in America today. While issues such as these deserve to be taken seriously, Ray has chosen a selection of witty songs that offer fed-up citizens some much-needed relief.

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