Dawes: Nothing Is Wrong (ATO, 2011)
Oh my. Time Spent In Los Angeles and If I Wanted Someone. That’s one hell of a way to start an album. Two songs that both easily qualify to the “hey, this must the best song ever” -category. At first, it almost seemed like those two songs are just too damn brilliant and the rest of the album just can’t live up to them. Thankfully, this is not the case and the rest of the album is also mostly stunning even though those two beauties remain as my biggest love affairs.
Dawes’ debut album North Hills already featured on onechord.net’s best albums of the year 2009 list, but Paste’s wonderful live premiere of this second album Nothing is Wrong was the final eye opener. After watching them play Time Spent in Los Angeles I was already completely in love with them, bought the album the next day and since I’ve been shouting their name from the rooftops. Of course, I had been following them since the debut, but before Nothing Is Wrong they were still just another really great band. Now they are a huge favourite of mine. During the recent years, hardly anyone has created something equally brilliant from the 70’s folk rock and California sound influences as Dawes does on Nothing Is Wrong. Pretty much only Beachwood Sparks comes to mind right now, but it’s already eleven years from their amazing debut. While Beachwood Sparks flavored their west coast cake with psychedelic things, Dawes’ other main ingredients would be closer to soulful americana.. and the shelf that contains soft rock albums and even 70’s am pop singles is also within reach. The frontman Taylor Goldsmith is an excellent songwriter and I love his mellow voice. Oh and the harmonies are gold throughout the record. Jackson Browne and Benmont Tench make guest appearances on the album and it would be hard to picture anyone more suited for the job.
I kind of understand if someone thinks Dawes’ mellow folk rock is just indifferent and pleasant background music, but I could never feel the same. This is extremely close to perfection in my book. There are a couple of songs that are nothing that special, but in the end, I love the album so much that giving anything other than full five hearts would feel more painful than watching a Steven Seagal movie marathon.
Time Spent In Los Angeles – Live in the Bing Lounge:
If I Wanted Someone – Live in an alley: