Steve’s Media Blog

Review: Revival Dear

Posted on: September 19, 2008

Finally I’m getting to it.  Took me long enough!  Though I am pretty busy at work right now so it’s going to take me a while to type now.

I really liked this album, as I established in my initial thoughts post.  The only problem is…I’m at a loss at trying to describe the music.  For some reason, it just escapes me.  From the album art you might expect to hear a blue grass album; this is not the case at all (and another lesson I guess in that you shouldn’t judge anything by its cover).  I have it temporarily labelled as “indie”, as that is the catch-all label I use for music I haven’t defined yet, but I’m not sure how to classify it yet.

Perhaps though that is a good thing.  I really don’t mind when a group/artist transcends music genres, it makes for a fun listening experience.  And as I alluded to, Revival Dear is just that: fun.

They’ve got a great old-time sound that I like a lot.  Eddie Orso and Shelley Hayes have put together a fairly even mix of fun, upbeat tunes (see: Ol’s In The Water) and a few slower songs.  To try and give you a better idea, here’s their biography from their website:

There was a time when music was a craft performed by artisans who rode the rails and played from the heart. A time when music was central to communities, bringing people together and inspiring change. If you have ever longed to go back to such a time, then Revival Dear will ride straight into your heart.

Revival Dear has found a way to be a part of the past and a part of the future at the same time. Imagine a marriage between classic rock legends The Band and Fleetwood Mac, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of their sound. Yet Revival Dear’s music is fresh, totally alive, and very relevant in today’s music scene.

I’ve listened to the album in a full sitting at least twice now, and I haven’t heard any low points that makes me want to turn it off.  I would appreciate a few more upbeat tunes so I could pop the CD in the car and drive around, because as it is I don’t think it’s a good album to listen to while driving home from work in busy traffic on a Friday afternoon.

I also initially thought there was a close similarity between Town That I’ve Known and Ol’s In The Water (sort of like how sometimes I confuse “Somebody Told Me” with “Mr. Brightside”), but while there IS a bit of a similar sound, I figured it was because I heard Ol’s In The Water before and it was just something I recognized.  When I played them back to back they were different enough.

Their most popular single is Ol’s In The Water, which reached great heights on CBC Radio 3 (see their One Sheet PDF), and it is a pretty kickin’ song.  My favourite on the album though I think is Watkins ’73, followed by Ol’s In The Water, and then Be Back Someday.

Check out Revival Dear, they have a brilliant sound and I definitely want to hear more from them.

Track Listing:

  1. Town That I’ve Known
  2. Land & Tide
  3. Hog Tied
  4. Ol’s In The Water
  5. Hometown Down Heart
  6. Workin Man
  7. Gold Manitoba
  8. Down That Line
  9. Be Back Someday
  10. Give Me The Blues
  11. Century Toy
  12. Troubled Days
  13. Watkins ’73
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