Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Acid drenched folk and blues has never sounded so gosh dang good. I mean like something I have been waiting for-for a long, long time. I found it, or it found me, I should say. I was scouring the new releases, as I am want to do, and I clicked on 28 Days In The Valley by Dorothy. From the opening notes, there is something there that made me want more. Three full listens later, I am prepared to write my review.
Dorothy is actually more than just psychedelic folk and blues. It encompasses rock and roll.I think that frames it perfectly. It is rock and roll in its purest form. There is also a healthy dose of 70s guitar and power ballads. It works very well in its entirety. This is a solid hour listen so don’t listen unless you have some time to invest. Otherwise you will be late.
This collection is on Roc Nation Records, which is the record label started by Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. Clearly, Jay-Z is a great musician and entrepreneur, but what does he know about rock and roll? Apparently, he knows a lot about it, because 28 Days In The Valley is definitely a hit. Every song on here is well played, well recorded, and just sounds really good. Sometimes “sounds good” is the best way of describing music. This is Dorothy’s second album on Roc Nation.
I really love the guitar work throughout this entire collection of songs. The tone is absolutely fantastic and the notes are moving as can be. Just listen to Black Tar & Nicotine (Track 9) for a bit. The guitar on this track is trippy and completely encompassing like a warm blanket in winter. Then, at just over a minute in, the guitar erupts into a face melting extravaganza that extracts every ounce of emotion out of the listener.
Heading down the same routine
My throne is high just like a king
But black tar and nicotine
Shot me in the heart and killed my dreams
The guitar is quite heavy, but so are the lyrics. There isn’t really a mystery as to what this song is about. It paints a rather grim and realistic picture of drug addiction.
Dorothy Martin, the lead singer of Dorothy, has an incredible set of pipes. It is very powerful, yet sensitive. And Martin can hit those high notes and she can hold them, as well. It’s not just hitting the note, it’s also holding the note. And really, the holding is the most important part. Dorothy happens to be the lead singer’s first name and also the band name. I know there is a connection, but it isn’t coming to me right now.
No song on this album shows off Dorothy Martin’s voice better than Freedom (Track 5). She really could break glass just from her vocal power. And as previously mentioned, those vocal chords aren’t just strong, they and full of melody and harmony. Freedom has the makings of a rock anthem. It’s a song you can rally around.
Although I only highlighted two songs, you have my assurance that the other 11 songs on 28 Days In The Valley are also praise worthy and deservant of multiple listens. This could be the year that Dorothy breaks through. They have the songs, musical chops, and the support of one of the most astute business men of this generation.