Thursday, January 31, 2013

Album Review: Dudley Saunders - Monsters

It has been 5 years since Dudley Saunders released an album, and that's 5 years too long.  He returns with Monsters a wonderfully moody and emotional folk music. His sound is like a mashup of James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot.

What the essentially means, is that his songwriting is stellar and intelligent and very singable. His voice is melodic yet different; not traditionally beautiful, but one that grabs your attention.

Monsters is made up of ten songs, and this is one of the few times when you can say, each one is better than the last from the mellow folksy "We Were Right" to the wonderful live acapella "Coal Tattoo." The songs deal with the monsters in our lives that we are afraid of and the monsters we are.

It isn't a very upbeat album., yet is a beautiful listen.

There is something haunting and sad to "Zero Out (In These Boxes)" A song that tells of memories and not necessarily good ones, but ones that might want to be wiped from the slate.

"Monster" is another slow one. The melody is deceptively pretty at first. Haunting isn't the right word for this one. It is quite spooky, in an Edgar Allen Poe sort of way.

"Wheelchair in the 7-11 Parking Lot" is a rather long song title and a rather strange one. It is one of the saddest, no, the most depressing songs of the album. You heart breaks as Dudley sings "And all of this freedom is all beside the point When the limbs in your mind Bend on broken joints."

If that's not enough to give you pause "Rosewood Casket" will. The song of murder as you see in the opening line "Jonny killed his sweetheart when he was but fourteen. Stabbed her to the heart."

This isn't music to brighten your mood. It is like the songs of Dylan and Costello, it is music full of beauty and it is designed to make you think while you listen to the stories in the songs.

Dudley Saunders creates music not just for your ears but for your soul

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