Thursday, May 22, 2014

Third Guessing With John Dunbar

Occasionally, a song comes along that is right in my wheelhouse, and for reasons known and unknown, it latches onto me and I it, and for days it remains in heavy rotation. John Dunbar's "Sullenly," from his newly released "Third Guessing" is this week's song. It's sparse arrangement and DIY feel recalls McCartney's "I" and "II," but it's sweet melody and clever lyrics feel like the best of our favorite boys, Fountains Of Wayne. I love this tune.

And there's more where that came from.

"Third Guessing" was written and performed by Dunbar and it is filled with what is so often absent from many records these days--songs! Ray Davies, The Hollies, 10cc and the aforementioned Sir Paul all make spiritual appearances here and Dunbar's wordplay will keep you on your toes.

I would love to hear some of the tunes on this record with a nice fat band behind them, but Dunbar does a more than adequate job on his own and again, it is because of the writing, which is top-notch. Songs like "Strangers Will Tell You The Truth" and "I Can Really Disappoint" are full of hooks, as is "Won't Take Yes For An Answer."

"Third Guessing" is a refreshing change of pace from the maudlin singer-songwriters that are foisted upon us by the critics. Dunbar's tunes are personal and not all of them will put on a smile on your face, but they have two very important things going for them--words and music.

You can hear more here.

And I think you should.


Jeff Matthews said...

Downloaded. Listening now. Right up my alley. Thanks, Sal.

A walk in the woods said...

Nice! I definitely will check this out further. I love the opening line to Sullenly about the weatherman.

Reminds me of a great, great McCartney-esque song from a few years ago by a guy who wrote one of my very favorite pop songs of recent years:

Richard Swift
Lady Luck

and also, that guy from the 70s who kind of aspired to be Paul McCartney but never had a hit - played piano - 3 albums released - cult favorite - I think he lived with his parents - can' think of his name!!

Anonymous said...

3 albums lived with his parents?

Who is Emmit Rhodes, Alex?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Richard Swift, I was surprised to see him playing bass with the Black Keys on Colbert recently. I wish he'd stop being a sideman and go back to doing his own thing.

A walk in the woods said...

Ah, THANK YOU anonymous... Emmit Rhodes.... I kept wanting to call him Elliott.

Christine said...

33424685Finally got around to listening. I think my favorites are "In the Land of 'Is That All There Is'" and "Putting an End to What Hasn't Begun Yet."

It's nice to hear a pleasant voice and actually appreciate the guitar sounds without all the banging.

"Spiritual appearances"--nice!

"Watch out for what nostalgia does
You're longing for what never was"--WOW!

I'd love to hear these songs with more harmony.