Add to Calendar
On Revolution Cole tells a wider story of all those sidelined by gender, age and race, beginning with her great-grandmother Charlotte, who hovers like a restless spirit over the album, first making an appearance in “Blues in Gray,” in which generational choices are forced upon her, obliging her to choose marriage over education, household drudgery over self-realization.
Charlotte also appears in the tour de force, “Silent,” the final song written for the album. More short story than song, it’s painful and specific: Cole’s voice trembles with uncomfortable memories of being a witness to abuse and then a victim of it herself. But it is not a victim’s tale, it’s the account of someone who learned that keeping quiet causes much more harm than speaking out -- even though she hears her great-grandmother’s voice in her head instructing her to “hush.” She has come to regret that unspoken advice over the years, and that realization is one of the inspirations for this album. On Revolution, Paula Cole speaks out, testifying loudly for all those who did not.
So, after the stirring mission statement of “Revolution (Is a State of Mind),” Cole pillages her own life, exploring familial and personal wounds, not sparing herself or those closest to her in her insistence on telling important and sometimes terrible truths.
It’s all grist for Cole’s mill, because she feels she owes that kind of honesty to her audiences. She is talking to the tribe, and in showing who she is, she allows them to see themselves more clearly. Because if anything, art is a mirror.
510 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA, 94607