DANNY DODGE: “BLUE AIN’T WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU”

January 16th, 2019 | Album reviews

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DANNY DODGE
“Blue Ain’t What I Feel For You” CS
Get Loud

On his 2017 barn burner Baby, Let Me Be Your Mess, Danny Dodge sounded like a sassier, sultrier Joey Ramone singing undiscovered Merle Haggard and Rolling Stones songs—in other words, dear reader, it rocked. Dodge’s appealing “mess” felt a little bit classic California country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, with plenty of punk attitude and lots of bait for ladies who like fixer-uppers. You can’t say he didn’t warn them, with that album title and lyrics like: “I’m just crazy and it ain’t that cute… / You need a man, not a hurricane” and “You can drink champagne with fashion models / Give me a whiskey and leave the bottle.” Well, L.A.’s favorite ex-Seattleite outlaw is back with a surprisingly somber new single, “Blue Ain’t What I Feel For You” and it’s only going to win him more screaming female fans because Dodge’s sensitive side is on full and glorious display. We’re talkin’ bring-on-the-strings-and-mellotron sensitive. Even the cover image swaps the Baby, Let Me Be Your Mess cigarette-smoking hunched-over man-of-the-night with an all-white-clad Dodge standing tall in front of an imposing bronze door. Beyond that door lies epic heartache, apparently, but also: swirling strings, impassioned guitar and keyboards, soft and breathy vocals building to a wail, a frustration with the limits of the English language and an epic recounting of all the heartbreaking things that might come close to approximating his bluer-than-blue doldrums—like “a cowboy movie where the hero dies.” The flip-side “See A Lot of Her in You” features yet more lovely, scruffy, all-consuming sadness you can sing along with, if your heart can handle it. (Sample chorus: “Pretty mama, I feel like dying.”) Keith Richards once called rock ‘n’ roll “music for the neck down” and baby, that includes the heart. Yes, even (punk rock) cowboys get the blues, but it doesn’t always sound this sweet.

Donna Kern

DANNY DODGE’S “BLUE AIN’T WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU” CS IS OUT NOW ON GET LOUD.