Review Summary: It lyrically takes you to the beautiful places he's been and imprints on you somewhere the urge to get out there and see it for yourself.
-South of the South-
Covering ground everywhere from Pensacola, Florida to Eli, Nevada, you can find Dave Dondero on the road singing songs and telling tales of loss and his passion for adventure. Dondero easily reels you in with his beautiful imagery, leading you to someplace South of the South and in the middle of the search for happiness.
South of the South begins with the title track, delivering the raw emotion and meaningful lyrics that Dondero has became famous for. The song takes you on a trip all over the country. He claims that he has “seen the love that he let slip away” in the simple country shuffled song “I’ve Seen The Love” with ringing keys, guitar and a consistent drum beat. Through its simplicity you can’t help to enjoy this story but also feel sorry his loss.
For me, the one low point of the album is “Journal Burning Party”. I like the idea of the song but I couldn’t get into this peppy jingle, though it is very enthusiastic as he sings “let’s have a journal burning party.” “Let Go The Past” is a great song for me and anybody who has dealt with regret. It reminds you that there is nothing you can do for the past and to let it go, all you can do is look forward. If you’ve ever wasted time on things you do not need or chased after something you knew wasn’t for you, then “The One That Fell From The Vine” will hit right in the face. Don’t waste your time on anything but what you know is right being the overall theme.
The highest point of the album for me is “You Shouldn’t Leave A Lover Alone Too Long.” It’s extremely catchy and the ending builds and builds as his voice rises to an emphatic yell. Who are we to say that we’re better than the next person" We have no right as Dondero says in “Pornographic Love Song.” You’ve done wrong and so have I. The album concludes with the second half of “Summertime Suicide.” In it, the joy of summer is proclaimed as a great metaphor for how fast time goes by. This is the perfect song to end the album because it highlights the time we waste and encourages us to get out there and live our lives.
Overall Dondero does a great job, as he always does, of handing us stories to read. The usual driving guitars and even more penetrating lyrics fill this record. If you’ve ever dreamt of a life on the road, then you should give South of the South (or any album by Dondero for that matter) a listen. This album is one of my favorites and shall be for a long time.