Devon Mello is a college student who writes songs on his piano. He has talent. He writes quality lyrics and sounds a bit like Youth Lagoon if he just had a piano. On his release Rottweiler Dan's Alive he plugs in his laptop into a computer and records. The worst thing about this album is the perturbing digital distortion that emits from his piano. It's an easy fix so I hope the next time around he figures out how to get rid of it because it takes away from otherwise well written songs.
Mello invokes ambiguous imagery with his lyrics when you can understand what he is saying which is seldom. Take for instance the first song "Constance" when he sings "Drove a hundred miles to get loaded and watch a parade different from your birthday this time i fell into the fray with my best friend examining each others necks the bathrooms beckoning for its nightly purge".
The second track "Judy" is a good example of Mello at his best. He's like a combination of Conor Oberst and Youth Lagoon on this track. The next two tracks I could have done without. "Stoned Alone" is played on guitar and sounds sloppy while "Swimming" is a useless minute long filler that did't serve much purpose.
"Rottweller Dan" is arguably the highlight of the album but is hard to listen to because of the distorted piano. The salon like piano playing works and Mello sounds a bit more chipper which was desperately needed at this point. His piano sounds half way decent on "Mango" and is another well written track with solid lyrics. He avoids cliches when he sings "and i think maybe i wouldn't mind to die just like this and my fingers smell like the death that's coming for us quick".
Devon Mello has some skill buts needs some refinement. Overall, some of songs are solid but there isn't much variation in the songs themselves or between the songs. It's a relatively melancholy energy that permeates and can be hard to endure for a whole album's worth of songs. Oh and for crying out loud make sure your input isn't clipping next time around when you are recording your piano.
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