Well, it is finally here. Dudley Saunders has released his new album, 'Monsters'. Now I normally try to start out with a low-key introduction. Screw that, I love this album. I mean love, in the sense that I adore it. Beginning with the opening bars of "We Were Right" when the reminiscing was sweet and joyful, through the closing of the spiritual "Coal Tattoo", I can tell you this will be one of my favorites till at the end of the year. "Zero Out (In These Boxes)" is a gorgeous song, taking on the process of a new beginning, a fresh start. And then comes "Monsters", the song I heard on YouTube a while back, that just took my breath away. In fact, here is that very video. This is Dudley singing "Monsters" live.
That is followed by "The Man In The Game," and I have to tell you, I got lost in the song, so beautiful and sung with such a pure voice, I stopped writing and was listening until the end again. for it is even more haunting when you realize he is singing about a gun and a shooting spree. "Roving" has a quality of great Folk, yet when I listen closely, there is a greater depth to the structure of the song, the way it is woven. I was almost immediately was enchanted by "What Rats Are We", a striking commentary on modern life, wrapped in a stunning bow with Dudley's gorgeous production. We all have to take a stand at some point, and decide "What I Won't Do", right? There are other moments when Dudley shows up as a hybrid, part troubadour, and part artist. He captures the life at the core of the action at the convenience store in "Wheelchair in the 7-11 Parking Lot". Timing is everything, at least according to "Rosewood Casket". Some people don't learn their lessons in time, so keep that in mind. And, finally, there is the stunning "Coal Tattoo", is a pure testimonial, a spiritual truth coming from the heart. You need more than just my word? Well, check out the songs below, on the widget from Bandcamp that will let you hear it all.
My advice to anyone reading this is to buy it, buy it now. Dowload it, or buy the CD, whatever works for you. Just buy it. Put it in rotation in your iTunes. Listen at least five times before you admit it kicked your ass, and you are Dudley's aural bitch. Saunders combines amazing musical technique with a vision, an eye on the world quite unlike any other. He uses notes and words to paint human landscapes, at times like a realist, while in other places, he paints more like an impressionist, offering his brushstrokes more to define mood or condition. He offers a journey that is every bit as intoxicating as it is heartbreaking. You can purchase 'Monsters' on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and CD Baby. Until then, if you would like to learn more about Dudley, visit his official website. There you can see all the latest information, including his tour dates. I hope to be attending his October 12th show in Washington, DC, and pray I can come back with pictures and/or video I can share with you all soon.