Pablo Dylan has a lot to live up to. From being the grandson of folk superstar and songwriting legend Bob Dylan and the nephew of Wallflowers’ front man Jakob Dylan, Pablo Dylan has music in his blood. He showcases this natural ability of lyrical prowess in his debut album, The Finest Somersault.
Dylan opens up the album with a rolling folk journeyman’s song “Eye of the Storm”. This song roams along with a jaunty guitar and drum combo, singing of wanderlust. Also, some mystical Tolkienesque lyrics are sprinkled throughout, making the song almost feel like a quest. Wrapping up nicely with both soft acoustic and electric guitars, the song starts the album off in a great way, leading into the folk landscape Dylan has created so well.
The second track, “One Too Many Nights”, rings true with heartbreak and strife. This is a true love song. Even after all the sadness strewn through the song, the love still rings true.
“The Finest Somersault”, the title track from the album, is reminiscent of his grandfather’s “Tombstone Blues”. The guitar licks throughout the song have a western, fast-paced tone. This song rocks like anything off Highway 61 Revisited, but with references to Kanye, Justin Bieber, and Uber.
“Bells” transitions to a guitar-driven rock and roll number, far different from the rest of the folk feel on the album. However, Dylan is very similar to Lou Reed here, with his voices carrying between the notes of the guitar. His range doesn’t go far but excels at where he is comfortable.
The greatest song on the album by far is the last one. It’s been a while since I’ve heard such a simple yet beautiful song. The lyrics are spot on. He channels the piano ballads of John Lennon’s solo career. As the song beings, we are greeted with such a unique combination of sound. The song is powerful, yet somber. Hopeful, yet doomed. When the drums kick in right before the chorus, we are reminded why piano ballads have such staying power throughout the years. This one-of-a kind sound that Pablo Dylan created is a mixture of Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Lou Reed. If he keeps putting out music like this, expect to see him on the big stage in no time.
The Finest Somersault is a superb album, no question. However, Dylan does seem to still be searching for a pure vocal sound. He’s still young, only in his early 20’s. There is still plenty of time for him to perfect his voice, and when that happens, I think we are in for a real treat. Here’s to hoping that the second album comes soon.