On Songs of the Ungrateful Living, Everlast’s sixth studio release, the former House of Pain frontman is a little older and a little wiser, which certainly shines throughout the record as Whitey Ford has moved away from a lot of the hip-hop from his last full length, 2008’s Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford, and toward more an alt-country, acoustic feel, a sound right in Everlast’s wheelhouse.
This calmer, more laid back approach is evident right from the get-go, as the opening track of Songs of the Ungrateful Living, “Long At All,” a plodding ballad that explores the mysteries of life and death, serves as an apt introduction as to what to expect on Songs of the Ungrateful Living. A number of other mellow, alt-country outing loom on Songs of the Ungrateful Living’s horizon (“Little Miss America,” “the Crown”), though Everlast doesn’t entirely abandon his hip-hop roots (“My House,” “I Get By”). He does spend some time on Songs of the Ungrateful Living exploring more upbeat ventures, traveling down some light-hearted avenue’s, showcasing the fact that yes, on Songs of the Ungrateful Living, there is something for everyone (“Gone for Good,” “Friday the 13th”).
Everlast is a powerful songwriter and even better storyteller, one capable of evoking an emotional response at each and every turn. This is a real life record, one that reflects the trials and tribulations we face daily. Plain and simple, these lyrics, these words, these thoughts, are relatable.
Songs of the Ungrateful Living might just be his best showcase as a solo artist yet, an under-the-radar record that you’re much better off experiencing rather than simply reading about. If you liked 1998’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues or 2004’s White Trash Beautiful, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like Songs of the Ungrateful Living ever more.
Listen to: “Little Miss America”