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Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: Joel Dobbins - Unreal

Joel Dobbins - Unreal
2008, Joel Dobbins

Joel Dobbins is a unique young voice, mixing wit and gravity in a manner not generally seen in an artist his age. Joel Dobbins’ 2008 release Unreal (his third) is an exciting and unique look at a young artist as he develops. This might be the sort of album you hang onto.

Unreal opens with At The Door, an upbeat musical plea to a lover on the edge full of both hope and angst. It's a highly radio-ready song that might play well to college radio. Half Past Noon is a Matchbox 20 type anthem with smooth, highly produced instrumentation and the mellow yet clear vocals of Dobbins on top. Break The Locks is my second favorite song here, and probably the track with the most commercial potential without sounding blatantly commercial. It's a great melancholy pop song. Midnight Conversation has the potential to be a gorgeous piano ballad but gets caught up in the programmed drums and effects that surround it. The Song I Have To Sing calls to mind 1980's Brit-pop bands as Dobbins blows the roof off with a great pop tune.

My favorite track on Unreal is Hypocrite, a tongue-in-cheek admission of imperfection. Dobbins finds the perfect mix of pop sensibility, alternative edge and rock and roll rebellion in this gem. Also notable are the obscurely beautiful Here In The Dark and So Happy.

Joel Dobbins has obvious song-writing talent, and a distinct sense of melancholy pop. Unreal gets a little too mired in the melancholy at times, but on the whole is a strong listen. Dobbins has a highly pleasant voice and we look forward to hearing his future projects. In the mean time, give this disc a spin.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Joel Dobbins at Unreal was just released on November 5, 2008. As of the publication date of this review I could find no outlets online selling it. For the time being you can stream some of the songs off of Joel Dobbins’ MySpace page (Link above). You might try writing to Dobbins through his MySpace page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited that you reviewed Joel's disc! If you ever get the opportunity to see him live, GO! It's a real treat; he's an amazing performer with a truckload of incredible tunes.