Dave Derby and the Norfolk Downs | s/t (Reveal)

cd_davederby.jpgThe result is an at times Cole-esque collection of introspective tales, delivered via laidback, smooth-as-silk vocal style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend and collaborator of Lloyd Cole, Dave Derby’s no slouch when it comes to the music business. In addition to playing behind the scenes on countless albums and tours, he was a founding member of ’90s alt heroes The Dambuilders. He was also a member of Cole’s 2001 band The Negatives and appeared on a handful of Cole’s solo albums; returning the favor, Cole guests on this, Derby’s self-titled-with-band new release. The result is an at times Cole-esque collection of introspective tales, delivered via laidback, smooth-as-silk vocal style. Oh, and did I mention it’s all kinds of inviting?

Opener "Come On Come On," which Derby describes as his personal favorite on the disc, is about going underground, escaping the daily grind: "You’d like to say it can’t happen here/… Slip off the grid and slowly disappear," he sings on the bridge before repeating, "I’d really like to help you but I can’t." Next up, "Beaten Down" is Derby’s post-9/11 song, though it’s so upbeat and rockin’, it’ll take more than one listen before you realize it’s anything but buoyant. The jubilant reflection of all that went wrong on Fourth Street, "Baby" reveals the depth of Derby’s despair while retaining some odd sort of hope.

Other highlights: "Even in Darkness," the poetic questioning of his country ("I don’t hate you/ I just don’t recognize you"); the folk-rocky "Sugar and Violets"; the doubled-up vocals of the shimmery "Olivine," exposing the truth behind all that glitters; the dreamily reflective "You Got to Go."

Also recommended: Reading Derby’s "story" online. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle in, ’cause it’s long…but illuminating and hilarious. B+ | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Lloyd Cole, Wilco

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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