Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies have written the funniest political satire album of the year. But don’t laugh at this glammed up six-piece from Chicago. The art is high; it’s just their scruples that are low. In the making of The Homeland, Bobby Conn effortlessly channels the essence of several of his heroes. It’s as if David Bowie and Freddie Mercury merged together and made the ideal anti-Bush album with Frank Zappa as the producer.

The Gypsies sophisticated Syncopation blasts the opening track, “We Come in Peace” wide open. This song mocks the right wing view of the war in Iraq. Bobby Conn playfully offers up the lines, "We are your friends, we come in peace /We brought our guns to set you free." With the band driving full force, Conn mocks the status quo with contemptuous lines like, “We have no fear of your disgust /You hate us ‘cause your jealous of success.”

In magnificent rock opera style, “We’re Taking Over the World” continues the mocudrama theme. Here Conn congers up a collection of secret societies and shadow government players including 33rd degree Masons, tenth generation Illuminati, and Pagan gods from outer space. In greedy sounding harmonies, the characters gleefully celebrate their achievements: “Franchised Jesus Christ /Organized paradise /Clear Channel, bargain priced.”

The ultra funked out, “Relax” is an ode to Bush 43, or as Bobby calls him, the Prince of Lies. Interestingly enough, this track sounds a lot like the artist sometimes known as Prince. It’s a wicked ditty about a rendezvous between Bush and Conn himself. Once inside the Bush compound, Conn describes his gracious host’s behavior: “He cut a line on Genesis /Held my hand and whispered this:

Relax; there’ll be no warning for the next attack
Relax; and there’s a discount on you’re income tax
Relax; if they’re suspicious we’ll just change the facts

It is rare when an album sets out to achieve such lofty goals as The Homeland. It’s even more rare when the artist actually hits the mark on all levels. Don’t let the bookish lyrics and makeup fool you. The guitar playing by a man simply known as Sled is just short of devastating. It’s sometimes disco, sometimes hard rock, but always technically sound. Musically speaking, it is among the best of 2004. Conceptually it’s a one of a kind to the very last note, where Bobby cleverly reminds, “If your willing to die for what you believe /Then we are happy to kill you all /For the Homeland.”

Download These: We Come in Peace; Relax; Home Sweet Home