Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: Dom De Luca “A Bell I Gotta Ring”

Dom De Luca is a singer/songwriter based in Ontario, Canada, who has released “A Bell I Gotta Ring”, a record following his 2008 folk effort called, “Birds Of Worry”. Influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Wilco, De Luca croons his way through acoustic-driven stories of love and hardship. As the album cover suggests, De Luca is all heart, and it is obvious these songs are his babies and mean the world to him.

The problem most people are going to have with De Luca is that he is not a polished singer. His tone is a mix of Jack Johnson and Eddie Vedder, which will charm for a song or two, but doesn’t have the appeal that will get you through an entire record in one sitting. He sings with all the enthusiasm of Ben Stein. The voice does better when the music is full, but when a song that is stripped down (like on “Such A Good World”), the vocal shortcomings are too pronounced. The strong suit that De Luca brings to the table is that he does write some catchy and memorable folk rock songs. First single “Brother, Brother” is the standout track possessing a winning combination of melody and solid production, providing an environment that suits De Luca’s vocals. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else on the record that thrills like this track. Fans of reggae might want to check out “Lovin’ You So”, and if you need an encouraging pick-me-up, check out “Chin Up Babe”.

All the heart in the world is no substitute for vocal talent, and I think this is what is going to keep “A Bell I Gotta Ring” largely unheard. But don’t miss “Brother, Brother”.

iPOD-worthy: 1

Dom De Luca on MySpace.

Check out the video for “Brother, Brother”: