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Ry Cooder's "The Prodigal Son"

On The Prodigal Son, Ry Cooder's first album in six years, the guitarist, singer, and songwriter leaves behind the pointed political commentary that defined a series of albums beginning with Chavez Ravine (2005) and continuing with My Name Is Buddy (2007), I, Flathead (2008), Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (2011), and culminating in Election Special, his intervention in the 2012 Obama—Romney race. Although politics aren't entirely absent, the new record favors songs of comfort and consolation, many of them with religious themes.