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Reviewed by Pedro Santos

Dave Dobbyn: Harmony House

Reviewed by Pedro Santos

Dave Dobbyn: Harmony House

Taking just 37 minutes over 11 harmonious tracks, Dave Dobbyn shows clearly and concisely that he remains a songwriter of stirring consequence – despite the themes of the well-named ‘Harmony House’ being largely the comfortable nature of his mature home life and surety of his spiritual beliefs. Perhaps it was just that easy comfort that inspired him to bring Phoenix Foundationers Sam Flynn Scott and Luke Buda in to produce this long awaited (eight years since his somewhat forgotten last) album.

Opener Waiting For A Voice provides immediate evidence of their successful union, a driven full band attack with Dobbyn’s vocals unusually strident and exultant. The brave top-end vocal reaching on Ball Of Light later, plus several shared song credits, provides more evidence that he was at times pushed by the collaboration. Lots of strummed acoustic guitar with the electrics used more for artful decoration, drums up front and busy, rich and intricate sonic flourishes a la Phoenix Foundation – all enhancing the anthemic lyricism on show. In the album’s title closing track Dobbyn’s own voice is suffused in a suitably rich multi-voice harmony, while the quirkiness of his collaborators glows through in turning a song that repeatedly uses the word ‘sad’ into a bouncing, nearly upbeat tune. A sure-footed return to form that, despite being very personal, will quite likely provide some future game day crowd pleasers. 

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