Darker Still is the new album from Gabriel Douglas. Before hearing a word, I kwas interested in hearing how dark this album got. The music revolves around mostly acoustic guitar and vocals and the somber tone is consistent throughout, even when the lyrics are hopeful.
The album gets going with “Hearts Want'' and you are greeted with a couple of strummed chords and a lamenting vibe throughout. There really isn’t much change in terms of the music as it progresses and it sets the mood for the rest of the songs.
Douglas displays his vocal chops a little more on “Get Up, Fed Up, Yup.” I liked the sound of his voice in this range. The lyrics were pretty straightforward. Next up is “Holding Patterns” and is another song where I really enjoyed his vocals. We get an organ type interlude with “Dark”.
On “How To Make A Home (Somebody To Call)” he strums a little harder and there was a little more vigor. The album continues with “Morning’s Coming,” “I Want More (Make It Beautiful) and “Making Changes (Making The Grade, Making You), (Ain’t Gonna Fight (You Are Enough)” and all sounded very similar in terms of tone and color. “Darker Still” is the centerpiece and moves at a snail's pace. It revolves around a couple sparse notes on organ and vocals. The tape hiss was overwhelming at times and he gets melodramatic with the vocals.
Musically, there just wasn’t much happening on this album. There are a lot of strummed chords and that’s really about it. I wanted some more variation by the time I got to the third track. His vocals and storytelling are the strength of the album. This music is reminiscent of I See a Darkness by Will Oldham or Benji by Sun Kil Moon. If you are into those albums this album should resonate with you.
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