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.
In 2012, Chris Pietrangelo and his brother, Patrick, started Fingertrick in an effort to take their high school hobby to the next level. Since then, the trio has taken the Memphis, TN scene by storm with their live performances. In June 2018, they released their second album “If Requiems were Record Deals”, 4 years after their first release. After listening to Fingertrick’s latest album, I was immediately captivated by their unique sound and outstanding song writing, so I reached out to lead vocalist, Chris, to find out more about their album.
It’s hard to put this album in one genre. It features so many different sounds that come together to produce one of the most individualistic rock albums I’ve heard in a while. Chris told me that, although there is some carry over from their last studio album, “Wildfire”, they wanted to move away from the “classic rock” sound and move towards their own distinct sound. They nailed it; this album is grittier, angrier, and does not hold back when taking a deeper look into the darker side of life for American Millennials. Lyrically, this album is catchy while not losing the honesty of moving into adulthood in America today. As Chris says, “There are teeth and claws in these songs that just didn’t exist before.”
“When you have people arguing about how to classify your band’s sound, you know you’re doing something right!”
-Chris Pietrangelo, lead vocalist/guitarist
When I asked Chris to talk about his favorite song, he told me that “Originally, the plan was for the album to have 10 tracks, but when the writing and recording process was finished, I knew there was something missing. . .So I locked myself up for a day and a half and came out with ‘Requiem (Until My Dying Day)’.” This song is the only ballad on the album and is the second to last song on the album. Chris “felt [they] needed this dark, agonizing acoustic ballad to tie the album together. It sits right at the very end reminding everyone what the album is really about, just in case they tried to escaped on a positive note.” I agree that this song truly ties the album together. It feels like the end scene of a movie before the credits start rolling and the final song plays: the last chance for a tear jerker.
“If we had a record deal for every friend we’ve had to bury along the way, we’d have it made. This is in their memory”.
-Chris Pietrangelo, lead vocalist/guitarist
Chris described this album to me as “captivat[ing] listeners with its aggressive, unapologetic approach to both music and lyrics. The album deals with quite a few distinct themes, driven mainly by an extremely dark look into the day-to-day lives of the American Millennials, seen through the eyes of a rock musician in survival mode”. Their live shows have been described as “unforgettable”, and although I haven’t had a chance to see them live, Chris told me that they are in the process of planning a tour as I write this article, so look forward to seeing what the future holds for this phenomenal rock band emerging out of a city famous for birthing some of the most talented musicians of all time.
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