Archive for August, 2010


dayve dean – octagon

I’d like to be upfront with you, I’m a fan of Dayve Dean’s music, nevertheless, this will be an objective review. Well of course nothing about music is objective, but I’ll do my best. Having said that, what’s the betting this review reveals more about me than the album?

Octagon is an 11-track album, populated by songs of raw emotion: sometimes hope, sometimes disillusionment. It’s acoustic, accessible indie, eminently hum-able, with intelligent lyrics.

Follow is the first of two tracks with Thea Gilmore and is an acceptance of reality, with a wistful pinch of wondering what might have been. I Could be Happy with You recognises that we go into relationships with good intentions, but can’t always live up to them, sometimes hurting others in our blundering.

I Can’t go Back to the Starting Line sees our hero caught in a Catch-22, a loop of unhappiness with the present, but feeling an uncertain future is too much to contemplate. Don’t get me wrong, while the album’s lyrics are deep, the music is upbeat and very toe-tapping. I’m a northern soul fan and this is an experience I’m used to!

Lizard Skin (also with Thea Gilmore’s lovely voice), is an evocative metaphor for the disposability of people and relationships. I’m always cheered to hear this song, as it marks the start of Octagon’s protagonist deciding to move forward. Tell You is a step in a different direction, both musically and lyrically, very pared down and edging into blues territory.

This album bristles with good songs, my favourite of which is Don’t Want to Be That Man Anymore. I’m guessing many of us can relate to this one – being sad over a break-up and getting to the point of being sick of feeling so sad. Like Jimmy Did is a lovely take on hero worship and the search for the right way to live life.

Waters. I’m not sure what to say about this, mainly because I think it’s beyond me! I get the sense of someone leaping before they look, that’s all I can tell you, other than the piano is particularly lovely. Another Christmas is also hidden from me, but I like that, how boring it would be to understand everything straight away. It still has a good tune though!

Ride, a guitar-driven song, talks about the tension between the need for freedom and the need for closeness. Ordinary is the one that makes me smile the most. I grin at the lyrical gymnastics of the chorus, the Cole Porter-ish rhymes delight me every time.

I’m always moved when a person remains a romantic in the face of disillusionment or sadness – and the protagonist of Octagon is a realist-romantic. Long live romance.

STOP PRESS: If I’ve whetted your appetite for Dayve’s music, he’s just announced that three of you can win your very own copy. To get listening to Octagon, just email your postal address to me, Mhairi: accurate at easy dot com


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