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Bill Greenberg – “When I’m Stronger” [Song Review]

Even though Bill Greenberg’s “When I’m Stronger” is philosophically despairing, an elusive filament of defiance sustains the song’s resolve.

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Bill Greenberg “When I’m Stronger” single artwork
Bill Greenberg “When I’m Stronger” single artwork

Alt-folk guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist Bill Greenberg recently released his new single, “When I’m Stronger,” following on the heels of last year’s “Ukraine,” his first new release in nearly 25 years.

More than two decades ago, Greenberg’s band, Bill’s Band, dropped their first and only album, entitled Basic Tracks. Although the album flew under the radar, it revealed a delicious blend of indie-rock and folk elements.

Greenberg carried the stripped-down, edgy sound of Basic Tracks over into “Ukraine,” a song protesting the idea of war. In a similar manner, “When I’m Stronger” protests the frailty of the human condition – the hope of the hopeless dream of a better life.

According to Greenberg, “‘When I’m stronger’ will never come. It’s a wish and a prayer.  You may have a vision of breaking out, but it’s a hopeless dream.”

Bill Greenberg, photo courtesy of Bill Greenberg

Bill Greenberg, photo courtesy of Bill Greenberg

“When I’m Stronger” features a soft, soulful, bluesy folk melody aching with yearning for something more. Greenberg’s gentle yet oh-so-evocative vocals imbue the lyrics with the poignancy of striving and disappointment. Yet despite failure, there’s an expectant determination to “get it right.” A plaintive harmonica infuses the tune with tangs of melancholy.

Even though “When I’m Stronger” is philosophically despairing, an elusive filament of defiance sustains the song’s resolve.

Run Time: 3:31
Release Date: June 14, 2024
Record Label: Independent

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