This blog entry takes us to California where we are lurking on the softer side folk, country & americana. First we have the new Dawes album All Your Favorite Bands. I’m a long time Dawes fan and really loved the first two records. Especially Nothing is Wrong which was #3 on my Albums of the Year 2011 list. However, I think it’s been a while since I last wrote about Dawes, because I never really got into their 2013 album Stories Don’t End. I did buy copy and it wasn’t a bad album by any means. Still I just couldn’t find any reason to be truly excited about it.
But enough about the past. Dawes just released a new album called All Your Favorite Bands and they are back in excellent form. It’s early days, but I’m really loving this one. Oh Taylor. Oh Taylor Goldsmith. I’m not sure when and where they rank the sexiest men on the planet, but if I have a saying, Taylor gets my vote. As handsome as anybody and sings like an angel. And what about his guitar playing. So damn good. And it’s not some pointless finger acrobatics, his playing serves the song. Playing the guitar should always be about delivering the song into a person’s heart instead of just delivering an ego boost to the guitarist himself. Taylor seem to be aware of this. I understand if someone thinks the lyrics lack some depth, but I don’t really have any complaints. I guess the lyrics might not win a poetry competition, but together with the music they form something rather magical that moves me deeply. To Be Completely Honest is the biggest treasure. This however is the the excellent single Things Happen.
Staying in California, but moving to the softer side of country music. Sam Outlaw’s long-waited new Ry Cooder-produced album Angeleno finally saw the light earlier in the week. I got to say I was mildly disappointed when I started listening, but thankfully the first two turned out to be my least favorite songs on the album. Then the third song I’m Not Jealous arrived with its old-fashioned country charm. It ticked all the right boxes and suddenly listening to the album was a true country bliss.
Angeleno is very soft, polished and easy to listen to. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. I’m a romantic pop type and I don’t have many complaints. Maybe a song or two feel a little bit overproduced, but in overall I’m really enjoying listening to this. Still I can understand if this sounds a little lukewarm for a person who thinks that country music should also have a lot of hurt and rawness. I think Angeleno is a damn fine album that works especially well as a gentle country record for the Sunday morning blues… that often takes place seven days a week. This is I’m Not Jealous from Angeleno.