Album: Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (Loose) - Reviews - Music - The Independent

Album: Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (Loose)

5.00

The West Coast revival continues with this splendid second album from Dawes, the Los Angeles combo who were adopted by Robbie Robertson as his backing band for recent promotional performances, presumably because he heard something natural and collective in the way they played together.

That is certainly the impression given by Nothing Is Wrong, which was produced by Jonathan Wilson, whose recent Gentle Spirit offered a soothing simulacrum of the classic Laurel Canyon close-harmony sound that backdropped the late-60s singer-songwriter boom. Built around the Goldsmith brothers, drummer Griffin and guitarist/songwriter Taylor, Dawes' sound is redolent of faded denim, scuffed cowboy boots and hours spent sharing seats on a tour bus.

"Time Spent In Los Angeles" opens the album, with Benmont Tench's organ prominent behind Goldsmith's guitar as the latter muses upon the melancholy charm exhibited by Angelenos. It is followed in the sluggish, whiskery manner of Crazy Horse with "If I Wanted Someone", in which the short journey in the refrain from "maid" to "easy" summarises the constituent influences of Neil Young and The Eagles, the former brought to mind by the snarling, wiry guitar break, the latter by the sleek harmonies. Sometimes, local references combine unusually – as when "The Way You Laugh" blends the prancing gait of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" with slide-guitar licks that bring to mind Jackson Browne's sidekick, David Lindley. In none of these comparisons would Dawes be found notably wanting.

Goldsmith writes, apparently, on a typewriter, claiming that the discipline helps with the precision of lines like "Some people were just meant to be a memory, to be called upon to remind us how we've changed" and "You broke the quick, giving heart of a kid, and you're now coming back to a man". Both sentiments are indicative of his fascination with the unalterable past and its effect upon the future. It forces him into some unusual positions, as in the break-up songs "Fire Away" and "Million Dollar Bill". In "Fire Away" he offers to be the emotional punchbag for the split, taking the blame for everything even when that is clearly not the case. In "Million Dollar Bill", he expresses a desire to remain a strong presence in the memory of an ex-lover by having his face on banknotes or becoming a famous film star or astronaut, an unavoidable cultural icon. It is as threatening and dubious as "Every Breath You Take" or "The One I Love" and it is likewise lubricated by a languid grace, particularly in the cooing, Eagles-esque harmonies.

Elsewhere, the plaintive "Moon In The Water" offers a moving metaphor for unreachable love, before "A Little Bit Of Everything" closes proceedings with a lengthy and detailed exploration of the desire to experience everything, and both the wonders and saddening downsides furnished by that experience.

It is a thoughtful, mature conclusion to an album that seems to summarise one of the more welcoming trends in American rock.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Time Spent In Los Angeles; If I Wanted Someone; A Little Bit Of Everything; The Way You Laugh; Coming Back To A Man

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin teaches Clara to shoot an arrow
doctor who
Arts and Entertainment
Queen Christina left the judges baffled with her audition
X Factor
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week