All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Friday, October 25, 2013

D.B. Rielly - Cross My Heart + Hope To Die

D.B. Rielly - Cross My Heart + Hope To Die
2013, Shut Up & Play!

D.B. Rielly stormed onto the music scene in 2010 with his debut album Love Potions and Snake Oil, landing on over a dozen “Best Of” lists for the year (including #1 album of the year on the Wildy’s World year-end countdown).  The New York City-based singer/songwriter brings an eclectic mix of country, zydeco, blues and rock and roll to the table, creating vast musical tableaux that serve as the perfect setting for his stories and songs.  Rielly recently dropped his second album, Cross My Heart + Hope To Die.  There is no sophomore jinx here; Rielly’s second album is as compelling as the first and perhaps even moreso.

Rielly gets started with a brilliantly rustic take on Bob Seger's "Turn the Page". There's a desolate beauty in the contrast between the stage and the hours of night where loneliness pervades. Rielly brings this to the fire with a utilitarian vocal style and subtle instrumental layering. "Wrapped Around Your Little Finger" finds Rielly and his band working a vibrant mix of zydeco and country. Sit still if you can.  "Some Day" is a swaying lament, played and sun in the style of Roy Orbison. Rielly handles this with a gentle reserve, channeling Orbison with an eerie precision. 

"Come Hell Or High Water" is one of the most powerfully elemental love songs you will ever hear, and Rielly delivers it in unvarnished fashion. There's a rough beauty here that is stunning. "Moving Mountains" is a song of faith in action built on a gently rolling arrangement. Reilly's band is at their low-key best here; everything is fluid yet full of a vibrant energy. "It's Gonna Be Me" is a bluesy tune with rock attitude.  The guitar work here is alive and kicking, and Rielly brings optimism and humor together in enjoyable fashion. 

"Untie Me" sounds like it could be a John Fogerty tune from the Creedencen Clearwater era. It's a great little number with a wicked backbeat guaranteed to get your hips shaking. "Your Doggin' Fool" is an anachronistic kiss off song that's well hewn and sung with a classic country sound. It's back to zydeco and country for "Roadrunner", with Rielly and his band turning in a bravura performance. Rielly closes with "Fiorchroi (True Heart)", a haunting ballad sung to a departed love one. Without cliché or glitter, Rielly offers a brilliant performance as elemental and lovely as you could imagine. 

After listening to Cross My Heart + Hope To Die, it is difficult to imagine Rielly not ending up on a bunch of year-end lists again.  The album probably dropped a bit late for GRAMMY consideration this year, but Rielly deserves that sort of attention for his work.  Cross My Heart + Hope To Die takes you through emotional depths without the saccharine or overreach common in pop music, but also conveys a level of mastery as a songwriter, performer and vocalist that is rare in any genre.  D.B. Rielly has done it again, and Cross My Heart + Hope To Die is nothing less than a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc!

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more at  

No comments: