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Don DiLego

Photographs of 1971

(Velvet Elk; US: 18 Jul 2006; UK: Available as import)

Don DiLego got the idea for this album by looking at old photographs, deciding to bring those still pictures of bygone days back to life. While it’s often a cathartic process for some, it’s just as often mired in self-pity and melancholia. Fortunately, Don DiLego bypasses all that “woe is me” feeling for the most part, especially on the smart kick starter “Dreamin’”, which sounds like a classic Sloan album cut. A lot of these tracks would be perfect road music, especially the slow-building but catchy “The City or the War”. However, he can’t escape the dour moments with “At the Texaco”, which has some fine guitar accents offsetting the piano. This is quickly forgotten about with a tender “Automatic” that would have Chris Isaak jealous. DiLego chooses an interesting cover for the album with the Kinks’ “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, giving it a darker tone. But DiLego is at his best with an Americana flavoring, as is the case with the title track, and the weary alt.country nugget “My Misery Is a Fairy Tale”. The breezy, David Gilmour-tinged pop of “Rosemary’s Suite” is another keeper. Tender and thoughtful, DiLego has made a very good album of audible Polaroids.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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