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Bush bares soul with 'iPod One'

By CNN's Peter Wilkinson

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Bush uses the iPod while he cycles around his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
start quoteThis is basically boomer rock 'n' roll and more recent music out of Nashville made for boomers. It's safe, it's reliable, it's loving. What I mean to say is, it's feel-good music. The Sex Pistols it's not. end quote
-- Joe Levy, Rolling Stone
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(CNN) -- The music tastes of U.S. President George W. Bush have come under scrutiny after an aide revealed the playlist of his new iPod player.

The portable digital device, given to Bush by his daughters Jenna and Barbara last July, contains much country music, but also songs by Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and the Knack.

The MP3 player, which can store up to 10,000 songs, only contains about 250, according to the New York Times, which first reported the story.

"iPod One," as the player has been dubbed, is used by Bush while he pedals around his Texas ranch on a mountain bike, presidential media adviser Mark McKinnon told the newspaper.

The task of downloading the music falls to the 58-year-old president's personal aide, Blake Gottesman, who buys individual songs and albums from the iTunes music store.

Not every track is "on-message." The playlist -- regarded by many as a mirror to the soul -- includes musicians who campaigned against Bush, such as John Fogerty. Also on the iPod is the 1979 song "My Sharona" by the Knack, about a man pursuing a much younger woman.

One of that song's lyrics, "Such a dirty mind. Always get it up for the touch of the younger kind," prompted Spin magazine editor Dave Itzkoff to comment: "This wouldn't be consistent with Bush's image as protector of conservative values."

Bush, who quit drinking after his 40th birthday, also listens to recovering alcoholic George Jones, a country singer who sings about heartbreak and drinking. Joe Levy, deputy editor of Rolling Stone magazine, said this indicated "a little bit of taste for hard core and honky-tonk."

McKinnon advised though against too much analysis of the playlist. "The fact is that any president who would limit themselves to pro-establishment musicians would have a pretty slim collection.

"No one should psychoanalyze the song selection. It's music to get over the next hill," he told the New York Times.

The playlist does reveal a rather narrow range of babyboomer tunes. Writing in the London Times, Caitlin Moran noted: "No black artists, no gay artists, no world music, only one woman, no genre less than 25 years old, and no Beatles."

Levy agreed, telling the New York Times: "What we're talking about is a lot of great artists from the '60s and '70s and more modern artists who sound like great artists from the '60s and '70s.

"This is basically boomer rock 'n' roll and more recent music out of Nashville made for boomers. It's safe, it's reliable, it's loving. What I mean to say is, it's feel-good music. The Sex Pistols it's not."


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