Don DiLego: Photographs of 1971

[16 May 2007]

By Jason MacNeil

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.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/don-dilego-photographs-of-1971/