2018 - BIG Indie. For a debut album, this one peaks my interest. The melodies and musical accompaniment are quite stunning and Arkansas Dave’s vocal range is unique. However, the lyrics throw me for a loop. Dave’s musical style consists of a modern day New Orleans mixed with southern rock and Blues that will capture your attention. So much so, I believe that Dave could make it on Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans. The problem that I have with Dave’s music is that he lacks the innovation to create a solid storyline within his lyrics. In many of the songs, the lyrics are repeated over and over to create a song with very limited words; case in point “Bad Water.” If you subtract the lyrics and listen to the melodies, you will find some of the most hypnotic and highly listenable music. A perfect example of this is heard in the song “Chocolate Jesus.” This song contains a riveting melody that is devastated with the lack of a storyline within the lyrics. Many of the songs, including “Rest of My Days,” encompass a well-written stanza or chorus that is broken by the absence of associated lyrics. Perhaps the best song on this album is “Coming Home,” as Dave performs this with pure raw emotions. This too lacks the poetic feel of carefully chosen lyrics. Dave needs to team up with a successful songwriter to learn the trade of song writing; only then that he will develop into the artist that he wishes to become. $$+
(This review was printed in the May /June 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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