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Tim Armstrong: A Poet's Life

Album: A Poet's Life
Label: Hellcat/Epitaph

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In the weeks leading up to the release of his first solo album, A Poet's Life, Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong decided to leak every song on it through a series of high-profile websites. That seems odd, since A Poet's Life sounds like a rock-steady record that was written in the early '70s, back when no one was using MySpace as a promotional tool.

But it's also puzzling because listening to the songs separately just makes it more apparent how similar they are. Armstrong shakes the monotony with "Into Action," an old-school ska track with an infectious surf-rock guitar line. But otherwise, it'll take a keen ear to tell the difference between many of the mid-tempo reggae songs he fumbles with.