Friday, 15 August 2008


Escaping that Shadow.

Having been introduced to this album by the maestro Ken Bruce as he selected it as Radio 2’s Album of the Week, I was keen to check out Jakob Dylan’s latest musical venture into the realm of solo post-folk. I am pleased to report that his contribution is totally in the affirmative.
The Album “Seeing Things” exudes the type of confidence that this listener has come to associate with the subtly, complexity and more importantly depth that is commanded of the ever aggrandizing indie/folk genre. The album from the start appears a type of retrospective exposition both musically and lyrically, and one cannot ignore the obvious influences on this songwriter’s style (he is after all the son of one of the undisputed heavyweights of folk). Musically it is quaint, if not borderline idiosyncratic, folk. It forgoes any real level of complexity and productive value meaning that due respect and prominence is granted to the lyrics, and it is in the lyrics that this listener found the real fruits of this album. Edgy, philosophical and quietly political, Dylan brings melancholic sentimentality, romanticism (particularly in This end of the Telescope) and profundity to a genre that in my opinion was beginning to lack in all of the above
However, with all this positivity, one cannot help to note the unfortunate trap that Dylan has fallen into and that is summed up best by the old cliché that “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”. Indeed the album is laced both musically and lyrically with traces of Bob Dylan, and as much as I respect him, it his here that we can see the album becoming an increasingly fragile endeavour.
As a result of his attempts at nostalgic folk the album could be construed in parts as being bland and unimaginative. However, if one is able to see past all of these small inadequacies, mainly if one is able to look past the ‘Dylan’ brand, then the rewards will be plentiful. They will be lyrical depth, baptismal ingenuity to a sinful genre and most importantly an Album that just sounds really nice.

For the iPod Playlist: "This eye to the Telescope" and "Costa Rica"
Verdict: **** (4/5 )

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