Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dickie S/T

What happens when an artist spends a lot of time doing one thing day after day and soon finds out they want more? That person starts looking for a new direction for that artform. That is the best way to describe the situation for the singer-songwriter named Dick Prall. After years of performing music on his own, Prall wanted something new and found that new direction with a musician who was just coming up in the music industry. That musician, violinist Kristina Priceman, made for the perfect partner as the two created a new partnership and a new musical outfit named Dickie.

With the new duo, Dick Prall and Kristina Priceman create an outfit that combines elements of pop music with orchestral influences. The album contains ten songs that seem readymade for the radio. That commercial combination can be heard on Dickie’s self-titled release.

The self-titled release from Dickie begins with the track “45”. After an intro that lasts for about twenty seconds, the track becomes a song about looking back at events throughout a life, “45” asks the very poignant question of “Is this the end of it all?” The track’s thought provoking lyrics are matched with music that brings to mind such bands as The Left Banke (“Walk Away Renee”). The music combines a folk-rock feel with plenty of strings. The track feels like it would have been right at home in the sixties while still containing modern influences. The track keeps the interest of the listener throughout its six-minute playtime.

While the track “45” contains an orchestral feel to its folk-rock musical base, the next track changes the direction of the music on the release. The song “Breathing Down My Neck Again” begins on the same musical tempo as “45” before the track drastically changes pace. The song has a stronger and more energetic approach as the song becomes a straight-out rock and roll track. “Breathing Down My Neck Again” contains a strong guitar part and a strong violin part at the same time. The inclusion of the keyboards on the track adds even more to the track. The resulting combination creates a song on the release that rocks and still has a lot of beauty in the music. While the band is not promoting the track as one of the singles, the song is still one of the highlights on the release.

Having created on track in “45” that contained a Folk-Rock approach and then one track in “Breathing Down My Neck Again” that was a lot harder with its Rock and Roll approach, the next track of the self-titled release from Dickie gives the listener yet another version of the band’s musical approach. The track “Pop Pop Pop” is a rather sombre track about what happens when things go way too far. The song’s musical approach slows things down as the song takes on a slight Indie Rock approach. The easy feel to music is a rather unusual approach to the music with the subject matter of the song being as dark as it is.  

With the combination of musical elements on the track “Back to the Moon,” the track feels a bit like a combination of a track from the Glam Rock era mixed with some influence from Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). The orchestral feel from violinist Kristina Priceman in the track mixes well with the energetic feel of the beat provided by Dick Prall. The track has a very catchy chorus and is one of the stronger tracks on the release.

The self-titled release from Dickie continues with the song “Change Your Mind”. The song features the keyboard as the main instrument with a light drumbeat and a nice amount of violin to complete the sound of the track. The lyrics of the song about making up one’s mind go well with the light feel of the music. “Change Your Mind” is easily the lightest track on the album up to that point.

Another track on the album that stands out is the song “For Gold”. The later track on the release features a light pop-rock feel. The track feels a little more current than most of the tracks on the album with the inclusion of a strong drum machine beat to the music. The song could be included with today’s Americana playlists and radio formats. The track is one of the standout tracks on the release.

Dick Prall and Kristina Priceman create a strong track in “Unbelievable”. The track once again mixes an equal amount of rock and instrumental influences to create the track. The song features a strong rock guitar from Prall with the violin from Priceman that come together to form a song that brings to mind a sound that might remind some of something from a band like Coldplay. The late track ends up being one of the best moments on the album.

From time to time, you end up finding that one album that needs to be put on and just allowed to play out. This is one of those releases. From the first note, the self-titled release from Dickie is a pleasure to listen to. The ten tracks on the release work well as a whole as each song on the release seems to beg the listener to continue listening.

The self-titled release from Dickie will be released on August 7, 2015. Until then, you can experience some of the music from the new release HERE.