Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This Shoddy fella is one hell of a writer. He wrote all of the songs on this album, and all are extremely well written. The words of a real songwriting pro. I am listening to the words, which are thought provoking and awe inspiring, and Shoddy’s singing and it really gets me emotional. This is the real deal folks. These songs give me chills. These are the kind of songs that could be major-major hits.
The title track, Don’t Forget To Die (Track 10), is just one of those tracks. My interpretation is that it’s about being to busy in life and always thinking ahead instead of living in the moment. By thinking about the either the future or the past, one is not truly living. The present is all that really matters. Blacktooth’s account is heady and profound. I am not even talking about the singing. That is on another scale altogether. Shoddy’s voice, especially on this number, is out of this world.
I sense that Shoddy has had his share of trials and tribulations in his life. No one could write this heartfelt and honest without going through some shit. Whatever that shit was, Shoddy was able to parlay hurt and pain into a stunner of an album.
Just take Put Down The Bottle (Track 3) for instance. This song is about quitting alcohol and/or substance abuse before it is too late. “Put down the bottle, before the bottle puts you down”. That pretty much says it all. You can change bottle with your own instrument of pain. For example, put down the: (needle, pipe, or dice) before the: (needle, pipe, or dice) puts you down. It is quite transferable and a cautionary tale that I think Shoddy is all too familiar with.
Unfortunately, one must go through all those things in order to write songs of believably and with credibility. Shoddy definitely has cred. Shoddy has a little bit of R&B in him as well. I’m Not Above Being Down (Track 5) is a tincture of Van Morrison, Ryan Adams, and Jason Isbell. I know that is a challenging observation, but Shoddy delivers. His voice is melancholy and soulful and his words cut deep. The horns are a very nice accent. What a beautiful song.
This is a must own for 2017 and beyond. If this album gets heard by a wide audience, this one has a real chance at some serious staying power. Help get the word out about a very dynamic writer and singer. No time like the present.