Dale Sechrest – The Journey – Album Sampler/Singles Review
Dale Sechrest…sir…you’ve got that positivity I’m looking for right now. After two days of being absolutely flattened by the end of summer flu…I felt like something that had a sweet & invitational sound to it and these new songs from Sechrest’s latest album The Journey will do just fine. I certainly admire the intentions of artists like Dale…you can hear the heart in an artist like this right away through a song like “It’s All About Love (Your Song),” which opens the album with a comforting atmosphere that completely surrounds you like a warm hug. I think he’s got things off to a great start through the hooks he’s written into “It’s All About Love,” really like the combination of the traditional guitars, bass & drums making real space for the piano to shine just as much in the melody of this song. Sechrest sings “It’s All About Love” with real passion and he hits the mark really well overall…I feel like he might have potentially passed up a few opportunities in the structure of this song to go, like, really BIG in the vocal-department along the way; that being said, I’m certainly not complaining about the performance he puts in. He’s got melody, good tone, strong presence…you can hear he believes in the words he’s written and has that genuine connection to what he’s singing about – and that always makes the difference between what connects to us as listeners in return. “It’s All About Love” has nothing but sweet intentions & sentiment dripping from every hook; it delivers on its ambitions and starts The Journey off in the right direction, no doubt about it. There’s faith-based overtones in the lyricism for sure – but ultimately, anyone on either side of the fence should be able to connect to the overall message in “It’s All About Love” – that’s the kind of sweet sound & upbeat melody that draws people in.
Impossible not to notice the incredible influence of Neil Young on Sechrest’s tune “Life Is Changes (Song To Andrew)” – he audibly sounds like Neil through his pace & approach…and you’ll notice for sure, that just like Young as well, Dale reveals himself to be quite the songwriter here between the lines he’s written & singing on this tune. Excellent harmonica solo in this cut…but really, I’ve gotta hand the award to the song’s feature star on this tune – I think Sechrest did an exceptional job of making this song entirely relatable and real through the way he’s approached the energy in his performance. Every moment is cautiously pensive throughout the verses…rightly so if you’re listening to the words…and then you get that subtle sweetness of hope breaking through in the chorus. “Life Is Changes (Song To Andrew)” has a real magic to it that you just can’t duplicate; the personal attachment that Sechrest has to the lyrics, many of which are about/for his second son, really worked in his favor here. Many artists can crumble in their most stripped-back & intimate moments where they’re really trying to communicate something deep & personal…Dale shows amazing poise on “Life Is Changes (Song To Andrew)” and found the perfect approach to really make this song connect as well as it does. It’s humble, it’s innocent, it’s earnest, it’s real and it’s honest…and it all adds up to a beautiful & captivating experience that mixes melancholy with melody and played with the purest of heart. Love this tune.
Of course, other influences are revealed quickly as this sample of The Journey continues with a song called “Harry And Sandy” – essentially the biographical story of Harry & Sandy Chapin…and yes, THAT Harry Chapin, the infamous songwriter that has written many a timeless tune. Dale Sechrest throws his hat in the ring with fragile confidence into the songwriter’s realm here…sounding part Chapin, part Taylor, part Costello in his approach…storyline-wise it’s definitely a beautiful story worth the telling and Dale’s written this one in a compelling way that keeps you listening to the whole thing unfold. I think above all things, the way that Sechrest is able to translate his thoughts, feelings, perspectives and emotions revolving around love into words shows the insightful talent he has as a lyricist, but even more-so, the genuine understanding of the subject he’s writing about. Essentially, Dale doesn’t just write about love – he lives love every day…you can completely tell by the way he describes the relationship of “Harry And Sandy” that this is a man with his glass always half-full at the very least. The music is among the best I’ve heard so far…those sparkling acoustic notes ringing out like a classic Chapin tune would have’em; Sechrest has created a beautiful tribute with “Harry And Sandy” and really found a way to shine the brightest of lights on the essence of their relationship & what made it all work so well. Sechrest gives you yet another gear of his own sound and another wonderful, heartfelt performance in his vocals that echoes the classics…I’d be surprised if anyone had a different reaction to this tune…this is a story & experience that pulls you right in. The sliding guitars are fantastic, the piano is stunning in the breakdown…and yet again, Sechrest manages to make the entire difference in turning a good song into a great one. He’s written a really memorable moment in time with “Harry And Sandy” and paid his full respects to one of his own heroes through this song – again, the connection you can hear that Dale has to his words makes these lyrics come alive…the imagery, the descriptions and the sentiment all adds up to a really unique & beautiful experience that truly connects us to an extraordinary tale of love.
With the exception of an acoustic treatment of “Harry And Sandy” officially ending The Journey, “With All My Heart” is the last new song on the record. I’m impressed with the amount of sincerity that Dale is able to put into a performance…”With All My Heart” delivers another really intimate and close moment. More pronounced in its faith-based lyrics, once again, I feel like Dale’s able to speak to both sides from across the aisle through the genuine nature of his earnest approach to melodies like these. I suppose you could argue that you’re not likely to hear “With All My Heart” on the radio anytime soon…but that’s not the point of music to begin with…the point has always been to pour your heart & soul into your each and every opportunity that comes your way and let the real magic of music unfold right before you. Dale does well in the subtle & intimate atmospheres like we heard on “Life Is Changes (Song To Andrew)” and here again on “With All My Heart” – it’s the strength of his bond to his music that really makes it connect to us as listeners…and I’ve got no doubt whatsoever that there is indeed, an audience for this. In fact, it’s quite a large one…and it’s growing all the time…people love authenticity in what they listen to and who could blame them? Sechrest provides a stunning amount of that genuine authenticity and honesty in his writing & performances…and ultimately, that’s going to catch people’s ears & attention for all the right reasons.
Find out more about Dale Sechrest and get yourself a copy of The Journey at his official pages below!
Official Website: http://www.dalesechrest.com
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