The brothers Taylor (guitars & vocals) and Griffin Goldsmith (drums) as well as Wylie Gelber (bass) and Lee Pardini (keyboards) joined forces eleven years ago in Los Angeles, California, to form a folk-rock band whose sound is based on the sound cultivated by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. With "Good Luck with Whatever", Dawes present their seventh studio album, for which Taylor Goldsmith wrote some of his most convincing lyrics to date for the nine songs on the album, which sum up the mood of today's society and the year 2020 in general.
"Still Feel Like a Kid" proves to be an uncomplicated, childlike opening song that deals with childhood feelings: "I love dancing through a grocery store / Makes me still feel like a kid / I go three times 'round revolving doors / Makes me still feel like a kid / I love the music from the ice cream man / Makes me still feel like a kid / I am a singer in a rock 'n' roll band / 'Cause I still feel like a kid." The opening song paves the way for the title song, which clearly speeds up the album, both in terms of the musical and lyrical content, which is dominated by rapid guitar riffs. "Between The Zero And The One" lives from the very vivid use of the piano and "None Of My Business", led by the guitar, bursts with vitality.
In "St. Augustine At Night", the singer of Dawes leads us into melodically calmer waters, nostalgically reminiscent of the uncomplicated life as a child. The fact that these happy times are not to be had again is also reflected in the lyrics of the song. With "Who Do You Think You're Talking To You're Talking To?" the album again takes up speed and lets us quickly forget the nostalgic excursion of the preceding song, before the tempo of the album is again slowed down with "Didn't Fix Me" under sparkling piano runs. The ups and downs of the songs' tempi prove to be their emotional motor, which sets the emotions determined by the songs and their lyrics in stark contrast to each other.
The topics addressed in the lyrics of the songs reflect emotionally touching issues as well as current problems that are rampant worldwide, such as mental health in the song "Didn't Fix Me", which deals with the emotions that arise during depression. "St. Augustine at Night" proves the high level of Taylor Goldsmith's songwriting: "I finally got a nomination / For an award that I don't need / But I say that out of obligation / I really spent hours on my speech / I thanked my biggest inspirations / And the good folks back in Hollywood / But it didn't fix me / It didn't fix me like I thought it would."
With Dawes Good Luck With Whatever, Dawes prove their enormous skill in cleverly arranging lyrically and musically rich songs on a studio album in such a way that repeated listening will give you a deeper and deeper insight into their world.
Taylor Goldsmith, guitar, vocals
Griffin Goldsmith, drums
Wylie Gelber, bass
Lee Pardini, keyboards