Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#EDAS Album Review: Dawes, Stories Don't End

by Justin (@justasstrazdin)

Label: HUB - April 9 2013
Artist-Fair Shopping: 256K MP3 or Vinyl

Style: California Rock (Ask a Journalist), Band Coming into Their Own (Ask Yourself), Tequila & Sunbeams/Gin & Raindrops

Audience: Campers, Sad Ex-Boyfriends, Girl Who Makes It to the Front of the Stage Every Time, Teens Dragged to an Eagles Reunion Wearing Headphones in the Parking Lot, Maybe My Dad

Taylor Goldsmith is a daring songwriter, which is to say that he writes some really dumb things and pulls them off most of the time; the lyrical equivalent of a daring circus act with the safety net retracted. See what I did, there? "I buckle in my seat belt and plug my headset in a chair/ And to the music, I watch flight attendants move/ They are pointing out the exits but it looks more like a prayer/ Or an ancient dance their bloodline reaches through." See what Goldsmith did there, on "From a Window Seat?" The success rate for lyrics like that probably rests below 5%, and to add to the risk, there's nutty 70's AM Gold leaning piano rock guiding it. And after a few listens, it totally works, and you're afraid to break up with the album once the summer's almost over.

The risk doesn't end there. Goldsmith wrote another old man song "Bear Witness" (preceded by North Hills' "Bedside Manner"), where he gambles with, "Is my granddaughter Ruthie still working at the movies?/ Does she still let all her boyfriends in for free?/ Does she still stare out of the front door as she's serving people popcorn/ And talk about how nice today was supposed to be?" Goldsmith is either a time traveler, or he sees things most of us don't, and is dedicated to writing them down. My hope is that Dawes keeps up their obsession with the past in crafting solid and risky new American rock, and that Taylor Goldsmith hooks up with Taylor Swift somehow and celebrity magazines can play with their names.

Technical Note: One detraction is that the bass in some of the mixes gets murky, which doesn't suit an album that leans toward a handful of purdy songs.

Verdict: Love It All Summer, Stay Friends in the Fall

Dawes - Someone Will

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