May 28 2013
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Artist
The Weeks full-length label debut does not disappoint, and considering that they’re signed to the Kings of Leon’s new Serpents & Snakes label, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The band effectively mixes country, blues, and southern rock to create a unique contemporary sound. The highlights are Admiral Collier’s eclectic keyboard work and the tight rhythm section comprised of Cain Barnes on drums and Damien Boone on bass: one can always expect something noteworthy from each part on almost every track. Sam Williams even has some standout solo moments on guitar as well. The only real weak point of the group is that once in a while Cyle Barnes’ vocals can seem a bit boring and out of place
The band also does a great job of mixing in a variety of instruments. There are solid brass arrangements on “Brother in the Night”, a pervasive steel guitar found on “King-Sized Death Bed”, and both on the song “Gobi Blues”, not to mention Collier’s use of everything from a mellotron to a pump organ throughout the album. There is also a lot of great harmonizing from guest female vocalists on songs like “Bad Enough” and “Wo Is I”. However this attempt at variety does get them into a bit of trouble, as the sleigh bells used on “Thief in My Mouth” just sound like the weirdest thing ever.
If there’s something that can help to wrench out all those somber emotions, this album is it. A lot of the songs deal with some awfully melancholy subjects, most notably death, poverty, and heartbreak. Yet, it does pick up at the end, with the final track offering a nice upbeat shuffle pattern for a change of pace, almost as if to say, “It gets better.” All in all, Dear Bo Jackson only promises more good things to come. It should be interesting to see which athlete with a career cut too short they decide to dedicate the next album to.