Review: Vintage pop rock from original dB's
This CD cover image released by Bar/None shows the latest release by The dB's, "Falling Off the Sky." (AP Photo/Bar/None)
The dB's, "Falling Off The Sky" (Bar/None)
One of pop music's most distinctive singers, Peter Holsapple, can make even a song about suicide catchy, which he once did. He's reunited with the dB's on "Falling Off The Sky," which also features Chris Stamey's earnest tenor, jangly guitars, sweet melodies, witty word play and clever chords marinated in reverb.
In other words, "Falling" sounds a lot like the band's early records, and there's nothing wrong with that. The dB's carved out a unique niche on the pop-rock landscape, and it's good to have the North Carolina quartet back in fine form.
The band disbanded after 1987's "The Sound of Music" to pursue other group and solo projects, then reunited in 2005 and gradually gathered the material for "Falling," which it includes several tunes that rank with the group's best.
Stamey's hook-filled "Send Me Something Real" is so fetching the coda seems like a reward, while start-stop syncopation makes Holsapple's "The Wonder of Love" equally irresistible. Stamey goes mellow on the lovely ballad "Far Away and Long Ago," while Holsapple turns snarly on the catchy rocker "World To Cry."
The finale "Remember (Falling Off The Sky)" is built on cascading vocals and guitars as the band accelerates the tempo. From the start, this is an album to quicken the pulse.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: Credit drummer Will Rigby with Ringo-like charm singing "Write Back," his compositional debut on a dB's album. It includes this lyric gem: "I guess I knew that I was telling you goodbye when I didn't reply to your reply to my reply to your reply to my reply to your reply to my letter."