(Two Sheds Music)
Dodd Ferrelle hails from the fertile musical environs of Athens Georgia,
but has yet to get the breakout opportunities accorded some of his contemporaries. (Uh, R.E.M. anyone?) Regardless, with this, the third album he’s
produced under his own aegis, Ferrelle ups the ante and makes a solid play for
solo stardom. Through a mix of
atmospheric arrangements and stark yet emotive vocals, he creates a vibrant
melodic tapestry that grabs immediate attention.
In some ways, Ferrelle’s delivery outweighs his
content. While the songs are striking,
the presentation makes the music seem larger than life. This is due, to a certain extent, to an
exemplary support cast, including notable eccentric Jim White, journeyman Kyle
Spence and producer and Sugar stalwart David Barbe. Fortunately, they don’t
detract from Ferrelle’s impassioned approach, one that turns songs such as
“Lonely Parades,” “I Can’t Wait,” “Come Home” and “What’s Another Broken Heart”
into anguished assaults and melodramatic excursions. Ferrelle’s also at ease with a drift and a
sway, and the occasional ramble of White’s banjo helps tone down the angst and
enhance the accessibility.
Ferrelle’s got great potential to become a breakout
sensation and Lonely Parades reveals
his ability to project an indelible presence.
Still, the dichotomy between his over-arching style and an overtly
inward gaze remains somewhat confusing and could result in a rather muddled
tracks: “Lonely Parade,” “Miss Bliss” LEE ZIMMERMAN