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Music Review - `Truth` by Dean James & The Black Dogs (lz)

Dean James & The Black Dogs - Truth    (click on image to watch video)

 19 February 2019


BlackDean James may hail from the north of England, but his music sounds as if it originated in America’s deep south, thanks to its rootsy flourishes and swampy tinges of filtered R&B. On his striking new album, the appropriately titled Truth, James -- accompanied by his band the Black Dogs -- makes a mighty impression courtesy of a dark and deliberate sound that's flush with both angst and invective. Songs such as “Talking To God,” “Higher,” “Wait For You” and “Change Me” in particular show a driving determination that can seem intimidating at times, but remain consistently absorbing throughout. James and company parlay this formidable impression instantly from the outset, beginning the album’s initial offering “Hollywood” and a repeated refrain that commands immediate attention. And while the rest of the album isn't always quite as emphatic, every track that follows is similarly striking, whether it’s the Doors-like delivery of “Sleazy” or the dimly lit ambiance of “Another Way,” that latter immersed in psychedelic suggestion. James plays the part of a daring shaman, undeniably intriguing and yet leaving little opportunity for penance. Even the quieter moments -- be it the acoustic trappings of “Fine Tomorrow,” the beguiling serenade “Love You” or the subdued yet suggestive title track -- prove evocative and emotive. Taken in tandem, that’s what inevitably makes this Truth so consistently compelling.


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman







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