Saturday, 30 December 2017

Daniel Gadd - As If in a Dream I Drifted at Sea, album review

Wearing on a Faithful Sleeve

I'm a little stumped at what to say about this album, other than it wears its Cohen and Dylan influences with great echoing faithfulness. The finger-plucked guitar and laconic, weary-wise vocal is most reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, and there are clear Bob Dylan traces, like the song Some Time Ago [On a Cold Winter Night], and the harmonica in Sleep Turns Her Face, this latter because of an expectation rather than a definitive Dylan harmonica style other than breathing in and out and keeping it simple.

The eight tracks are never seemingly derivative, and the solo singer with guitar isolation shines a full focus on the songs and performance: I don't find them memorable as tunes, but the playing and singing is wholly engaging, partly for that 60s echo and the authenticity of its capture.

You see how I'm struggling there at the end. Should be enough to say I enjoy very much in its soothing, familiar way. The plaintive, penultimate song So Long Old Friend, with a hint of piano, is beautiful.

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