First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2004, Volume 11, #11
Written by John Metzger
With three studio efforts and a live album under his belt, Deryl Dodd already has shown the world what he has to offer, and his latest outing Stronger Proof merely tightens the reigns on his polished hybridization of honky-tonk, pop-rock, and contemporary country styles, while adding just a dash of homegrown, Texas swagger for good measure. The 10-track set spans less than 31 minutes, yet it still manages to touch all the bases of what one might expect from such an artist. In other words, his arrangements feature the usual array of acoustic and electric guitars, piano, fiddle, pedal steel, drums, and bass, and his lyrics, while solid, aren’t anything out of the ordinary. For example, on the title tune, Dodd washes away the pain of his broken heart with a night of hard drinking; on Somethin’ Ain’t Always Better (Than Nothin’), he puts on a masculine air and revels in his freedom; and on Outside Lookin’ In, he plays the role of the sensitive guy who finally comes to terms with how much he misses the gal that got away. Such is the nature of country albums, and Dodd’s approach veers only slightly from this tried-and-true formula when he mistakenly dabbles in the Bad Company-derived rock of Let Me Be. Even so, there’s a lack of pretension to his performance that gives the collection an authenticity that many of his peers seem to lack. In short, Stronger Proof is full of amiable country songs that straddle the line between the eras of George Jones and Billy Ray Cyrus, and if he’d only delve a little deeper into imitating the former rather than the latter, his albums might be a tad more memorable and resonant. ˝
Stronger Proof is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box