Richard Dawson: 2020 (Weird World) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, September 26th, 2020  

Richard Dawson

2020

Weird World

Dec 13, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


England's finest troubadour Richard Dawson returns here with a sonic kaleidoscope that glimpses the puzzle pieces of the UK in its current state and recounts Dawson's frustrations, pain, and joy in a consistently novel, affecting, and inventive way.

Following a series of sometimes baroque, often beautiful, psychedelic "folk" albums, Dawson has taken a step out of the avant garden with a set of accessible, immutably melodic songs including the metalcore and electro-tinged single "Jogging." It's a near 7-minute slice of life that endears as much with its dreamy excesses as with its typically plaintive, plain-spoken lyric: "There's a Kurdish family on the ground floor/Had a brick put through their kitchen window/The police know who did this, still they do nothing/It's lonely up here in Middle-England."

Of course Dawson's voice—the owlish coo and the soaring high swoop—wraps everything in a warm, wooly safety blanket, making the downbeat message of opener "Civil Servant" or, say, the heartbreaking tale of homeless life on "Dead Dog in an Alleyway," more easily absorbed. Noting on the latter that the streets are "No fit place to spend the night/Maybe I can go in the pedestrian tunnel/Stag dos and football dicks/They give me the most shit," an audio hug is exactly what's needed.

Socially aware, beautifully played, dazzlingly well-crafted, and, most importantly, exceptionally moving, this is a glimpse of the future that's happening right now —and we're so lucky to have Dawson here to give his anxious, ambitious account. (www.richarddawson.net

Author rating: 8.5/10

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