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There's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's immaculate, sound-wise. Beautifully polished, smoothed to perfection. You can't fault the singer's pedigree – he’s the son of a Muscle Shoals session musician, and would hang out with legends like Spooner Oldham at the age of 11. He learnt to 'pick' a guitar a few years before that. His voice is wistful and crooning, with a slight lisp and hiccup, like a beautiful 20-year-old Louisiana version of Townes Van Zandt, or perhaps the less glamorous part of the She & Him equation, M. Ward. Nor can you fault the company that the singer keeps: Emmylou Harris adds vocals to If the Creek Don't Rise. The timing, the pace, the pedal steel a-howling in the background... faultless, as is the lyrical content (mostly “please pity me, poor drunken wretch of a country singer that I am” – with some classic Gram Parsons-esque observations on love, loss and everything in-between). If Time Was for Wasting even sounds like Neil Young roaming the hills surrounding San Francisco.
Paupers Field is all the above, and it's certainly not unpleasant to listen to, either. (You'll forgive the reviewer here if he wants to lapse into such trite clichés as “his music slips down easy like a time-mellowed malt”. Paupers Field sort of begs for such descriptive language.) And yet you still want something to jar LeBlanc out of his practised, world-weary melancholy. You want an abrasive edge to prove that his record company haven't just signed him to latch onto the current critical craze for the bland suburban folk of Fleet Foxes. Whereas Conor Oberst – another obvious reference – used to sing so crazed and histrionic you could forget his sallow youth, nothing it seems can shake Dylan LeBlanc out of his cosy country complacency.
The reliance on the morbid worked with Gram Parsons and those other doomed 70s country rock sorts because you felt they'd lived it: the love and the loss and the regret. Immaculate pedigree or not, soaked in a musical upbringing we all would like to have been soaked in or not, Dylan LeBlanc too often feels like a dilettante latching onto someone else's emotion. "Keeps the whiskey in her veins to carry," he laments on Death of Outlaw Billy John – but for what reason?
A consummate session musician, he's got the moves down pat... but where is the soul?--Everett True
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I first came across dylan with his cover of 'Going to California', which i thought was amazing, listened also to 5th avenue bar and ordered this album on the strength of those... Read morePublished 13 days ago by G. A. Nelson
As a fellow reviewer has commented, not dissimilar to Ryan Adam with a bit of Fleet Foxes and a sprinkle of Neil Young!!! But hey, they that's quite a list to sound like!!! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chris Ledger
This guys needs a break and is totally worth a listen.
You wont be dissapointed, if you are you have no taste........................
I haven't stopped listening to this since I got it a few weeks ago. This was a bit of a revelation actually, I just didn't expect such mature songwriting from a 20 year old. Read morePublished on 14 Oct. 2010 by Big Twink