Review Summary: Jakob Dylan crafts a masterpiece…
From the minute Nothing But The Whole Wide World
hits your ears, you will realize this is not your average country album. Moving from the soothing bass to the mellowed lyrics you get a mixed feeling of sadness and happiness. The lyrics suggest something to be happy about, but, the dark sounds of the lurking bass and creepy vocal delivery says a different story completely. This song and the ones to follow are Jakob Dylan (as a solo artist) at his finest.
Now this album may be amazing, yet, it does have some down points. In fact the worst part of the album can be argued to be Jakob Dylan himself. Although he is a great lyricist and song writer, what has plagued him throughout his career is back to haunt him on this album. And it's simply that he doesn’t have the best voice in music. It can be dry and it has no range. This doesn't affect the upfront value of his music, but with continued listens this can really kill his staying power. His voice is half the reason why they could no longer go with an all-acoustic delivery. Which was present on his first record, and if you are a fan of his music with the Wallflowers. Don’t expect any different kind of vocal delivery with this new solo album.
Aside from those points it's all high flying for Jakob. Every song maintains a haunting flare to it. This gives this album its character. One of the smartest moves they made on this album was paring Jackobs voice with a bass instead of an acoustic guitar. Although there are other instruments on this album, ranging from violins to trumpets, the bass really compliments his vocals. Another smart move was paring him with a female backup singer. Giving the vocals range, where Jakob couldn’t do it by himself. This kind of attention to detail really makes every song shine, all awhile not sounding overly produced. Which is a huge plus, giving it a slight gritty feel that is really welcome.
Overall the track listing is strong. Unlike todays major country stars that like to fill their albums with a load of generic filler. On this album every song has its own unique personality. Which is what makes this album stand out from its peers, you will be hard-pressed to find two songs that sound very similar. If haunting or country is something you dig, this record will be your best friend.