Lead singer Art Alexakis wrote this about politics and events going on in America. It ties in the economy, the presidential election of 2000, and the September 11 attacks. He was also moved by the story of Laci Peterson, a pregnant woman who was found dead in California, and by an adoption law in Florida that has since been overturned. The law required any woman who did not know the paternity of her baby and wanted to give it up for adoption to buy ads in newspapers announcing her sexual past so the father could be found and have a say in the adoption. Known as "The Scarlet Letter Law," it gave custody to biological fathers regardless of their background, which could be disastrous for the child. Art has little patience for fathers who don't care for their kids. He made this clear in the song "Father Of Mine."
Alexakis: "These things in the last couple of years have made me pissed off at the complacency in our country. I think there's a lot of darkness there, but I think we can do better, that there's light at the end of the tunnel."
The New York Times is the only newspaper Art really likes. He says they "have the balls to stand apart from a lot of the more conservative papers," although he was disappointed with their coverage of the war in Iraq.
When it comes to politics, Alexakis will express his views when asked, but doesn't use the stage as a soapbox, which got The Dixie Chicks in trouble around the time this was released. At a concert in London, one of the chicks said, "We're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." The quote was printed by a British newspaper and The Dixie Chicks were quickly banned by many country radio stations and labeled "unpatriotic." Even though they expressed support for US troops and apologized for the remark, their album sales declined sharply and some radio stations organized events to destroy their albums.
This is the last song listed on the CD, but a minute after it ends, there is a hidden song called "White Noise." Alexakis describes it as "A song about pure acceptance or love of a friend." He included it as a hidden song because he wanted it on the CD, but it didn't fit the sequence of the album. He feels it helps end the album on a positive note. (Check out our interview with Art Alexakis