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Dr. Dog - Be The Void Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.75
Final Verdict: 78%
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Dr. Dog - Be The Void

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (02/08/12)
Dr. DogBe The Void
Record Label: ANTI-
Release Date: February 7, 2012


I think someone once said time is relative. Through simple deductive properties, then, it could probably be said that everything is relative, seeing as how time is kind of the thing that keeps everything sewn together (other than Mountain Dew). So when I say a band like Dr. Dog, in the year 2012, have created a “retro rock” album with Be The Void, I only mean that it sounds retro to me. To my dad or a creepy PE teacher, the sounds featured here probably instill a feeling somewhere between nostalgia and annoyance. By that I simply mean, wouldn’t it be easier for a person from the actual “generation” to just brush this off as dumb kids doing inauthentic shit? Maybe. But that’s a moot point (isn’t everything?!), because those old farts won’t hear this most likely. But we will. And to us, or at least to me, Be The Void reminds me of an era of which I possess no real memories. It does, however, get my imagination going; I can’t help but picture a song like the sweetly melodious, piano-led pop song “Do The Trick” being played in the background while some dolt puts the moves on a girl in a sarong, both oblivious to Lyndon B. Johnson (or somebody!) yelling about something on a muted black-and-white television.

I don’t know, and who cares, because Be The Void sounds good. Some could even say it sounds great, especially when the baby-making smooth rockin’ guitars of “Vampire” saw their way ever-so-softly into your brain. Or when the equal parts bluesy rock and country opener “Lonesome” has you singing along with, “What does it take to be lonesome? / Nothing at all.” Despite what time period or mindset I may (probably incorrectly) attach to Dr. Dog, at the heart of all these songs is just an insistence on keeping things chill yet absorbing. Vocalists Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken have a warbling way with words, most apparent on the groovy organ number “That Old Black Hole.” While nothing immediately jumps out as being “catchy” or whatever, plenty of songs use their hooks to the efficient maximum (“Over Here, Over There” and “How Long Must I Wait?”). And despite the uncommon thread of the vocalists' raspy deliveries on each track, Be The Void never really settles into any sort of discernible pattern. It’s kinda what I imagine training a dog to meow is like. You’re not really sure what it’s going to sound like until you’ve already heard it. Or, you know, whatever comparison is less dumb than that.

It’s been a while since I have so clearly detailed my lack of qualifications when it comes to “discussing” music. That is, if you don’t count last year's weird period where every record lead me to some overarching truth that was supposed to somehow fix a depression I didn’t even have. But where words have so clearly failed me in regards to Be The Void, a song like aptly-named “Turning The Century” makes all this mumbo jumbo seem so pointless anyway. The album’s most simplistic track, and one that I think features a sitar, it’s a song you could listen to with buddies without feeling like you have to rationalize every little moment to make them believe the same thing you believe. It’s a song that perfectly encapsulates the camaraderie bands like Dr. Dog embody. It’s tight-knit and free-spirited, singular and zig-zaggy. Even if Be The Void doesn’t make you long for a time that movies tell us was “simpler,” at the very least it will remind you that sometimes the best things are meant to be slightly foggy. That way, we can all interpret something different, and we can all still be correct. Or maybe I’m wrong.


Recommended If You Like: Spoon, maybe The Beach Boys if they did more Heroin, maybe Pavement if Malkmus had a head cold, Vampire Weekend


Fancywww.drdogmusic.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
06:26 AM on 02/09/12
#2
jdr2187
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Album is awesome.
06:38 AM on 02/09/12
#3
cwhit412
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Love the review.
06:44 AM on 02/09/12
#4
Holly HoX!
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Excited to check this out, just haven't put it on my iPod.

Wasn't into Shame Shame but I've already heard this is better.l and the new single is money.

I think they've always had that "Retro" sound.
07:33 AM on 02/09/12
#5
Blake Solomon
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Excited to check this out, just haven't put it on my iPod.

Wasn't into Shame Shame but I've already heard this is better.l and the new single is money.

I think they've always had that "Retro" sound.
im not sure if it's better than shame, shame, but if it isn't, it's certainly not much worse.
07:54 AM on 02/09/12
#6
Holly HoX!
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im not sure if it's better than shame, shame, but if it isn't, it's certainly not much worse.

I gotta say I'm very off/on with this band. Theyre the kind of band I always root for which is a really weird thing to say. They were pretty fun live when I saw them but the albums don't do much for me. I like the idea of this band more than the music in most cases.

Also, have you done away with scores on your reviews? Another site I write for completely did away with scores a few months ago.
08:06 AM on 02/09/12
#7
Blake Solomon
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I gotta say I'm very off/on with this band. Theyre the kind of band I always root for which is a really weird thing to say. They were pretty fun live when I saw them but the albums don't do much for me. I like the idea of this band more than the music in most cases.

Also, have you done away with scores on your reviews? Another site I write for completely did away with scores a few months ago.
i gave this a 78% or whatever. but im not really sure what that means anymore.
08:14 AM on 02/09/12
#8
Holly HoX!
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i gave this a 78% or whatever. but im not really sure what that means anymore.

I don't know what it means either when this gets a 78% and an Owl City live disc gets an 85%. Different reviewers blah blah, but my God.
08:30 AM on 02/09/12
#9
justinspann
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One of the most entertaining reviews I've read. Thanks.
08:51 AM on 02/09/12
Blake Solomon
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I don't know what it means either when this gets a 78% and an Owl City live disc gets an 85%. Different reviewers blah blah, but my God.
yeah, it's whatever. with the new site it will hopefully be more streamlined. can't remember what was decided, but i know it's been a hot topic of discussion as of late with the other reviewers.
10:41 AM on 02/09/12
phillipjacob
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I'm listening to Gold Soundz by Pavement right now and reading the review and riyl makes me intrigued to check this out.
11:27 AM on 02/09/12
Blake Solomon
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I'm listening to Gold Soundz by Pavement right now and reading the review and riyl makes me intrigued to check this out.
yikes. do not kill the stupid messenger.
11:33 AM on 02/09/12
phillipjacob
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yikes. do not kill the stupid messenger.

I'm actually enjoying this so all is well friend.
05:30 PM on 02/09/12
NorthstarPark
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Dr. Dog are one of my favorite bands, great review. This CD is great but Shame, Shame is still my favorite by them.
01:22 PM on 02/16/12
domotime2
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my best friend LOVES this band....i'm trying? but i can't go beyond the idea that they're just great "background music". The album seemed to run together in the end for me...but i'm not a "fan" so my review is useless.
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