Todd’s eighth studio effort, The Excitement Plan, contains Todd’s signature whimsical, half-drunk vocal deliveries along with pared down instrumentals and another host of misfits and outsiders. It was recorded over 2 1/2 days by Todd and producer Don Was with little rehearsal beforehand. The lack of rehearsal (I assume) helps lend to Todd’s slightly ramshackle sound.
There are plenty of people out there much better educated on the back story and discography of Todd Snider than I so I’ll leave it to them to be told, as I only discovered Todd with The Devil You Know. That said, I do think The Excitement Plan, possibly moreso than any previous album, really manages to showcase and display all of his gifts. You have the biographical tale of a 70’s-era Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher, Doc Ellis, who managed to pitch a no-hitter while on LSD, “America’s Favorite Pastime,” as well as the confessional of “Money, Compliments and Publicity”. There is even a duet with Loretta Lynn (who also shared in co-writing duties) “Don’t Tempt Me”, where Todd and Loretta are romantic combatants.
My favorite thing about The Excitement Plan is that it manages to be political without feeling preachy, which is a complete turn-off even if I agree with the politics.
Check out the album, it’s a blast to listen to.