Intensely Melancholic and Angst Ridden Songs of Love and Loss.
With so many albums passing across my desk each and every day you will have to forgive me for forgetting some that I reviewed some months ago; never mind last year or beyond ……. even ones I liked!
Dylan Rodrigue’s CAT’S GAME from 2019 is one such, and it wasn’t until he mentioned it in his e-mail that preceded this album/EP that I went back and re-listened; yup …… I did like it; didn’t I? Plus it still sounds just as good today ……. go buy it!
His latest release HUMAN MUSE is something of a ‘Concept Album’ …….. but don’t fear; it’s more songs about a series of people who have touched the writer’s life in some small or large way; rather than some High Art nonsense 🙂
Opening song, Annie is a heartfelt ode to lost love of the extra-marital kind. Not the normal subject for public consumption; but totally fascinating in a darkly brooding and deeply intense manner.
This is followed by Happened Upon; a meaty mix of tinkling piano and a bass/drum combo that will make the house shake as Dylan is deliberately faded into the mix to emphasise the protagonists feeling of helplessness ….. which is both very clever and intriguing as you find yourself having to crane your neck to hear his words.
The first time I heard these songs, Ryan Adam’s name sprung to mind ……. not someone I ever listened a lot to; but the angst, intensity and melancholy that Dylan Rodrigue fills the likes of First Time For Everything with, certainly reminds me of the man whose name shall not be mentioned in polite company.
As the songs come and go, there’s a definite restrained ‘Punky edge’ to For You and the all encompassing fog of the title track Human Muses. Don’t think the Clash or Pistols; go for an introverted Green Day or even …….. takes a deep breath ……. Nirvana at times.
Sometimes songwriter’s can be ‘clever’ for the sake of it; whereas Dylan Rodrigue appears to be genuinely articulate and astute in his storytelling; mature even; which goes someway to explaining why I like Because I Love You so much. Not a typical love song by any means; breathy and strained vocals over a gentle piano and ‘dinner jazz’ drumming, it’s truly captivating in a strange manner …… and is now my Favourite Track.
After playing this a couple of times I went back to Cat’s Game and while it’s obviously the same singer; this sounds like someone searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, seeing it’s flicker and still fearing that it’s train rushing headlong towards him.
Human Muses isn’t for the feint hearted; but for lovers of the darker aspects of relationships (like me) ……… it’s one for turning the lights off, snuggling up on the sofa and wallowing in.