CD Review: Todd Snider — The Excitement Plan

ToddSniderTheExcitementPlan Todd Snider

The Excitement Plan

Yep Roc Records

By Noel Wurst

I was 16 years
old when Snider’s first album, Songs for the Daily Planet, came
out. “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues”
was a hidden track on it (remember how awesome hidden tracks were?) and it was
the funniest thing I’d ever heard in my life.
I bought the album, and “Grunge” is the only song I remember ever
listening to more than one time. It’s
also still funny today.

This is the
relationship I’ve always had with Snider’s music. His newest album The Excitement Plan
is no exception. Snider’s storytelling
and wit can’t be denied, but his ability to compose an entire album of songs to
fall in love with has often been questioned. Like a countrified Leon Redbone, Snider delivers each song with such a
cool and composed delivery; his calming confidence unfortunately often trumps
the substance itself. I did find myself
nearly weeping at the melancholy beauty of “Corpus Christi Boy” – and was
disappointed to find out that this is actually a cover of a Robert Earl Keen
song.  It’s the highlight of the album by
leaps and bounds, and is worth a listen whether you’re normally a fan of
Snider’s or not.

Along with Leon
Redbone, Snider constantly releases albums that are consistently no better or
worse than his previous releases. While
this cements a fan base that has always, and will always be devout listeners,
it’s not a strategy that’s likely to win over you casual fans along the way. His albums are always worth a listen; they’re
just not that often worth a purchase.   

Todd Snider plays Eddie's Attic July 16 and 17.


  1. noel, i was about 22 when i first heard songs from the daily planet and thankfully i was old enough to understand the complexity and depth of sniders music. i have every snider album and they hold up and play well with any dylan, newman and kristofferson record out there. thankfully some “real” music critics and journalists have heard this record and like me, disagree with you and think its the best of sniders career. get bent man.

  2. Noel, you need some Money, Compliments and Publicity, but you aren’t earning your keep, my friend! If you haven’t gotten Todd Snider’s music by now, you’re never going to get it. In fairness, why not pass the torch on to another critic? At least there would be a balance rather than a gap that can’t be filled. With you, a Slim Chance is no chance. “Grunge” is the only song you’ve listened to more than once? You left yourself empty handed and without credibility. You can write a review on ONE listen? On that note, I’m weeping with you. You need to give every artist consideration by keeping an open mind. It seems apparent you made your conclusion before that ONE spin.

  3. This is the worst review of an album/artist I’ve ever read. Period. Learn your music before writing about it.

  4. This isn’t a CD review, it’s a sophomoric rant about why Noel Wurst doesn’t get Todd Snider. Noel doesn’t get Todd’s work because Noel hasn’t matured emotionally since he was 16 years old. C’mon buddy, you can do better than that. If you don’t like the album, fine, but tell people what about the CD you don’t like, don’t just go on and on about nothing, when you obviously don’t understand the narrative style of music. Listen to the words! Dig into the humanity and the emotion of each piece. If you still can’t grasp it, stick to reviewing Britney Spears and Papa Roach. I’m sure they’re more your speed.

  5. Was this paid editorial content or cut & pasted Web 2.0 from someone’s myspace page? AMG, if you paid for this review you need to get your money back.
    I’ve never read a review so void of meaning and discussion of the actual music. Gems like: “It’s not a strategy that’s likely to win over you casual fans along the way”??? Really? Do you think singer/songwriters have strategies? Maybe you’re better off sticking to the lastest P-Diddy release…

  6. This writer’s (I use that term loosely here) name is Noel Wurst? Wurst? Really? Seriously? Oh, the homophonic irony…
    Don’t worry, Noel. I’m sure Clay Aiken will have a new release out soon which will scratch your itch. Maybe you’ll even be able to articulate just what it is you like so much about Clay.

  7. While I don’t feel the need to add to the ad hominems, this album is definitely much better than this review gives it credit for. Todd’s put out a consistent string of high quality albums, and while it’s true that he’s settled into a fairly predictable sound, a) it’s a good sound and b) there’s a lot more substance to it than someone who’s only ever liked his one novelty hit would be likely to appreciate. If you don’t dig Jerry Jeff, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen OR oldskool Jimmy Buffett, then perhaps you’d be safe skipping this one. But if you actually enjoy the music of countrified singer-songwriters, give it at least the one listen this guy took to dismiss it. And for the record, it’s Corpus Christi BAY, not Boy.

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