Release Date 09/11/2018
(New York Public Radio) NACC
In its upcoming season, More Perfect, the popular Radiolab spinoff podcast, is doing something different:
We’re making an album! And, yes, a bunch of podcasts, too. But did you catch that part about how we’re making an album?
It’s called “27: The Most Perfect Album” and here’s why we are doing it:
More Perfect, the podcast, was created as a kind of sonic civics experiment. The mission: Could we find a new way to talk about the American Argument; take something that’s normally stodgy and make it excitingly exquisite; create a place where constitutional law, investigative journalism, human experience, and cutting-edge sound design all get along?
In that spirit, we’re taking it to the next level. We’ve partnered with some of the best musicians in the world to create songs inspired by the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution; a kind of “Schoolhouse Rock!” for the 21st Century.
“The mission of this album is to take these sometimes forgotten words and animate them through the power of music,” says Jad Abumrad, host of More Perfect and Radiolab, “These 27 amendments not only outline our basic rights as Americans but they also show a country changing and evolving and re-imagining itself. Striving (and not always succeeding) to be better. These songs are a small way to say that these words matter. So I hope that they end up on people’s playlists and in classrooms for years to come.”
The roster of participating artists who wrote and recorded original songs for this project includes Dolly Parton, Devendra Banhart, Flor de Toloache, Kash Doll, Torres, Caroline Shaw, The Kominas, Cherry Glazerr, Aisha Burns, The Slants, Sons of an Illustrious Father, and many more.
The album debuts September 18, 2018, and in conjunction, More Perfect will launch season three of its acclaimed podcast series. This third season will function as a series of “audio liner notes” to the album, each episode explaining not just the history and meaning of the amendments but also how those amendments hold up a mirror to our nation at this moment in time.
These amendments encapsulate an ongoing argument about the soul of America, who we are, and who we hope to be. The Constitution is a story, after all. It’s the story of America. And that story is still being written.
More Perfect, the show that shines a light on American democracy, is hosted by Jad Abumrad. Abumrad is the creator of Radiolab, one of the most popular podcasts in the world. He is a two-time Peabody award winner and MacArthur Genius grant recipient.
2018 is being called “The Year of Women,” and “27” was produced mostly by women: Suzie Lechtenberg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sarah Qari, and Nora Keller, alongside Jad Abumrad and Alex Overington. Both Abumrad and Overington are Peabody award-winning composers.
The majority of the artists on the album are female.
Jeffrey Wright, the Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actor, did voice-over work for this project. Listeners will hear his one-of-a-kind voice reading each of the 27 amendments.
“27” is visual project, too. The website features the whimsical artwork of Luis Mazón depicting each of the amendments
In his humorous and singular voice, Elie Mystal, our contributing legal editor, writes essays about each of the amendments. These essays will be featured on our website, alongside the artwork and the songs, to make up a comprehensive package about the 27 amendments.