Dr. Dog
Fate


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
July 23rd, 2008 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sweet, lovable, and most of all catchy indie-rock from the past.

First off, I’m not going to pretend that I know anything in advance. Before last week, I hadn’t heard much about Dr. Dog. In fact, if my friend didn’t point out Dr. Dog Lollapalooza line-up, I probably would have overlooked them entirely. Coming into Fate, I was skeptical of what genre I was about to listen to, let alone what it actually sounded like. After one song, I was hooked. It felt like a rejuvenation of the pop/rock that the Beatles and the Beach Boys had groomed and shaped so long ago, but hardly a carbon copy. Dr. Dog’s Fate came by surprise; and I couldn’t be any more satisfied.

The sound is what separates Fate from every other indie-pop album out there. It is like nothing out today, but more of a blast from the past. “The Breeze” is a quaint track, reminiscent of a Beatles track between the vocal harmonies and overall style. Most tracks on Fate contain a fair amount of unique instruments whether it be a horn section, pianos, or woodwinds that encapsulate the albums grandiose production. It makes “Hang On,” which is a combination of older soul tracks and edgy indie-pop, so enjoyable. Conversely, “The Ark” is paced like a war march with a rough western feel, showing the true diversity of Fate.

Fate is laced with pop hooks. Seemingly riddled in every verse and chorus; it is impossible to deny its catchiness. The album’s opener, “The Breeze” reminds me of the projecting voice of Okkervil River’s front man, but more compassionate. Behind the compassion shows an unspoken maturity. “Army Of Ancients” and “100 Years” are two glaring pieces of evidence. The mid-tempo ballad, “Army Of Ancients” seeps with piano melodies behind a consistent crescendo within the chorus, which climaxes with a passionate ‘ohhh yeahhhh’ (it will make you shake, in a good way). As the song ends, a string and horn section whisks away the song until it fades out. Another relatively slow song, “100 Years” is a modest song with a beautiful acappella section highlighting the modern-day Americana single. Lyrically, Dr. Dog exceeds even further.

Lyrical topics can be playful and happy at times, but heartbreaking in the same breathe. The gospel style singing in “From” is a prime example with a call-and-response singing, ‘You’re not my son’ / but you know my love [oh my love] / no it ain’t easy [it ain’t easy] / but it ain’t the type to give up and die / that’s not my love.’ Another deep line comes from “The Rabbit, The Bat, And The Reindeer.” At first, you would think it could be a conversation about a relationship, but in reality it is a conversation with an old habit known as alcohol, ‘I'm getting it back with that terrible feeling/ my vision is cracked, but it looks like it's healing/ I'm getting it back like it's four in the morning/ when the sun only shines as if it's giving a warning.’ Preach it brother.

Simply put, Fate is a refreshment of the sound that has been missing for so long. Dr. Dog are evolving their influences into an brilliant release of everything they love about music. The pace and length of Fate is suitable. In addition, the album rarely comes off as repetitious. I’ll leave you with one piece of advice; go out and listen to one of the best indie albums released this year.



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user ratings (109)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Daniel Korn (3.5)
It relies just a bit too much on classic rock nostalgia, but Fates is a fun album by a still-growing...


Comments:Add a Comment 
IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 23rd 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album stream: http://www.myspace.com/drdog

brandtweathers
July 23rd 2008


2007 Comments


spinning right now. ill let you know.
and good review.
edit: wonderfully accurate review ryan. i was skeptical but every track has a great fluidity that feels like the songs were meant to exist. thx for this review.This Message Edited On 07.23.08

sgrevs
July 23rd 2008


698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, I have to hear this. I'm sure it's quite similar to their last two albums, based on the review, which is mostly a good thing.

brandtweathers
July 23rd 2008


2007 Comments


very happy this is featured.

Kingofdudes
July 23rd 2008


294 Comments


If any of you guys have a chance to see these guys live, see them. They stole the show from The Black Keys when I saw them.

Good review, listening to this right now and I am hooked.

jrowa001
July 24th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cool review. im liking this

Polaris
July 24th 2008


246 Comments


Good review. I remember seeing these guys on Conan O'Brien like a year ago. Pretty good stuff.

crazycider
July 26th 2008


105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah they were on Conan a couple weeks ago too.. I saw their name on a lot of sites and when I listened to them they didn't dissapoint. They're coming to Cleveland in a couple weeks. Maybe I'll go.

beso negro
July 27th 2008


53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awesome album

gmoneyguy
July 27th 2008


108 Comments


I need to check this album out. I like their previous release.

londoncalling457
July 28th 2008


2608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm listening to this now and it's awesome so far.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 28th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's what I'm talking aboutttt

londoncalling457
July 28th 2008


2608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Army of Ancients is soooooooooooo good.

SpinLightTwo
July 28th 2008


1043 Comments


I really do love the old timey feel on this album a lot.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 28th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Army of Ancients is soooooooooooo good.

Seconded.

Kiran
Emeritus
July 29th 2008


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these guys are coming to sweden! excited.

album is very charming.

SynGates
August 2nd 2008


2467 Comments


wasn't expecting to like this but I do.

SpinLightTwo
August 2nd 2008


1043 Comments


I like "The Beach" a whole lot.

solid record.This Message Edited On 08.02.08

natey
August 8th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great stuff

timbo8
August 18th 2008


618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im excited about listenin to this



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