Trent Dabbs - What's Golden Above Ground

Trent Dabbs
What's Golden Above Ground

(Ready. Set.)

First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2006, Volume 13, #7

Written by Tracy M. Rogers



What’s Golden above Ground, the second album by Trent Dabbs, is a hit-and-miss collection. Musically, the set finds the Nashville-based singer-songwriter vacillating among mellow piano pop, dance and electronica rhythms, acoustic guitar-driven rock, and Beatles-inspired melodiousness. Lyrically, Dabbs’ writing is rife with imagery and romantic inclinations, but, at times, his choice of words becomes overly repetitive, thus weighing down his pop-imbued material. To be certain, some of Dabbs’ songs are quite catchy. The Duran Duran-inspired title track is a gem, featuring both a groovy dance rhythm and profound lyrics. Likewise, Riverbell Garden contains a piano refrain and vocals that are reminiscent of a Paul McCartney-penned composition from The Beatles’ later days. However, the opener Harlem Rosewood devolves into droning music that is fitted with a redundant chorus, while Fireworks in Virginia is a bit too sentimentally cloying. These examples only point to the larger problem prevalent within Dabbs’ work — namely, an overall unevenness. The structure and organization of What’s Golden above Ground gives the affair little cohesion, and making matters worse is Dabbs’ insistence upon exploring diverse avenues without attempting to cause them to congeal. All in all, What’s Golden above Ground is not a bad effort, per se — it does, in fact, possess many moments of beauty. Unfortunately, its incongruities detract from these glimpses into Dabbs’ true potential as a singer and songwriter. starstar ½



1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box