Dr. Dog has been releasing albums every year for the past few years, the newest edition being Critical Equation. This album plays around with some genres and instrumentation, overall being kind of 70s/80s pop/rock.
“Listening In” is a really interesting blend of country and rock. The middle shifts to a really slow, intense pace before cutting off for a second and going back to the regular beat. It was a really interesting add it, and the effect sounded really cool.
I never thought I’d jam out to a song that has organ as it’s main instrument, but I definitely did with “Go Out Fighting”. Somehow, they mixed the song so the organ sounds like it transitions to an electric guitar at the end. Again, it was a really cool effect.
“Buzzing in the Light” continues using the organ, but the overall sound is a lot slower. This song kind of makes you feel like you’re floating around, which is kind of the point. “Blue and gold, the color of the skies below / Only in the light, only in the light, of this world / Swarm of bees, they form a pillow under me / Buzzing in the light, buzzing in the light, of this world.”
The next few songs are good. They all seem to have a bit of a 70s influence.
I’m going to predict that “Heart Killer” is going to be the breakout track from this album. It sounds like an 80s pop/rock song, and it’s very catchy. It’s about the singer falling for a “heart killer”, and him not knowing whether to stay and be painfully in love, or run far away.
This is followed up by “Night”, which goes back to that trancelike, floating feel. The length of the song got a bit annoying after a while. This would’ve been a really good ending song for the album, instead of being stuck toward the middle.
“Under the Wheels” started off with a really complex layered vocal harmony, before turning into Bachman Turner Overdrive kind of song. The last song, “Coming Out of the Darkness”, isn’t amazing, either.
Critical Equation had a few gems, but overall it was kind of average. But it seems like Dr. Dog is consistently coming out with some good singles, so I’m sure they’ll be able to keep growing until they make another album.