Ok, we gotta get one thing straight here. This is my band…I mean THIS IS MY BAND. For me there are just none better. When it comes to music, I believe everyone has their own tastes…you know…"to each his/her own". Actually, fuck that…that's bullshit. It's to each his or her own except for D.A.D. If you claim to be a Metalhead and wanna be my friend, I can offer you only three options: 1) You already love them like I do (Cheers Alex…you passed this test the day I found TMO) 2) you never heard of them but when exposed you are all over their shit like white on rice or 3) you fuckin' hate them but you learn enough about them to lie your ass off (never met anyone who wants to be my friend bad enough for this, but I leave the option open). Even my non-Metal-loving wife bought into the program…I can't decide if she's number 2 or 3 so I guess I'll keep her around a little longer. So I'm shallow, who cares. If it's just me and the D.A.D, I'll be all-fuckin'-right!
Now generally I am into heavier shit. Sure I rocked, rolled and glammed my way through the 80's but today's Metal has me mostly in a much darker, heavier place. D.A.D. remains my favorite. WHY? That's the power of the D.A.D. my children. I have never heard a band so infectious in all my days. I swear, if I were the guy who had to develop a new therapy for awakening patients from comas, I'd slide a set of headphones over the patient's ears and let the D.A.D. go to work. It might take a couple listens though…c'mon…comas are serious, people!
So I must begin with the cover. It's nice but you see, I don't really know what a soft dog is. I'm a vet…I have never treated a dog for being soft…can't be a disease. I've got four dogs - we all lie around a lot and watch television and all of us are a little soft around the middle so maybe that's it. Or maybe a soft dog represents what I call a SNAG (sensitive new-age guy) who learns to cater to the needs of his woman. That's pretty deep D.A.D. I like mine better. It won't be the first time I lost something in the literal translation of foreign bands English lyrics. I've always appreciated D.A.D. for their tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and I would not be surprised at all if I am missing a little joke here.
Nick Foss handles the production once again and like always it is stellar. I love that he captures the classic D.A.D sound so well. The distinctly melodic D.A.D. guitars and 2-string bass tell you immediately who's lighting up the laser. He keeps Jesper Binzer's classic vocals right up front where they belong. Exquisite!
Yes, D.A.D have mellowed and matured over the years. "Soft Dogs" continues in the vein of the last two releases. I have long got over the change for one reason…change truly meant evolution here. There was no drop in quality of their work. It can take a few listens on the last few CDs to truly appreciate this but I personally guarantee you will get there if you give 'er an ol' college try.
One thing that continues to grow is the harmonies. They are so purty. I mean seriously folks, the chorus on "The Truth About You" is as smooth as butter. These harmonies are so well done on almost all tracks in fact. I like "What's The Matter" because it has the vocal stylings of an earlier hit "Cloudy Hours" from 1997's "Sympatico". It's a heavier track here with a little Blues thrown in. Things slow down a bit more than usual or necessary from "Golden Way" to "It Changes Everything". There's absolutely nothing wrong with the tracks except I would not have put them in this order on the CD. D.A.D has a guest playing cello and strings and when used, they quite nicely complement their style…nice experiment that works. "Un Frappe Sur La Tete" is a little rocker that brings back the old D.A.D. for a visit…very cool…it means "A slap in the face" I believe but pardon my French if I'm wrong. My favourite track is the title track…just a well-written tune with all ingredients present. It really is so nice to have songs with emotional well-placed guitar solos…not so common anymore. Once again the D.A.D are filler-free so I won't bring up all the tracks…no need.
So I scored this a bit lower than I would their last 5 CDs but only half a point lower. I think they need to keep the rockin' edge a bit more prominent and the material is just a hair below the quality of that found on say the similar-styled "Sympatico". I also would like to see a bit more of that humor, cynicism and sarcasm that was their in the 90's. I just don't wanna encourage them to get any mellower.
So here's the scoop. I came to TMO write a little and to make new friends. I want new friends. I have laid my heart out on the line and given you all you need to be one of these new friends. You see I believe friendship takes commitment and I really need to see a sign that commitment is important to you too. So go get a copy of "Soft Dogs" or any other D.A.D. CD you can find…ok…buddy…pal….friend. Let me know when you do…we'll do E-lunch. (Online May 29, 2003)