Review: Johnny Dango – Dear Everybody, I Love You

Undiscovered musical talent is all around us; sometimes, it opportunely breaks into the national consciousness—and, through the magic of the internet, there are no limits to music’s reach, and sharing it has become simple. Austin-based Johnny Dango’s new album Dear Everybody, I Love You is one worth sharing.

With solidly set tongue-in-cheek sentiment wrapped in quality lyricism and immeasurably talented players, Dear Everybody, I Love You is an album that defies formulaic description. Part Americana, part Tin Pan Alley, part barroom rock n’ roll, with an unyieldingly poetic storytelling cache, Dango is an adept songwriter. These are smart songs that are genre-defying. In essence, Johnny Dango makes a point of examining the absurdities of modern life and shines a harsh light on society, and his own, quirky foibles.

At times the album has light-hearted, melodic bounce, though, upon deeper reflection, Dango’s compositions have substantive meaning. In the contemplative “Laughing Larry’s Longer Lament,” written after one of his lasts visits with his 101-year-old grandmother, Dango sings “Ain’t nothing much new happening under the sun / It’s just a life we all live til we’re done.” The deceptive gentleness of “New Modern Age” lightly conceals subtle rage and restrained indignation. Full of ardent fervor and deep reflection keenly balanced by poking fun at everyone, himself included, Johnny Dango’s Dear Everybody, I Love You is a remarkable album.

[Purchase Johnny Dango’s Dear Everybody, I Love You HERE.]

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Hunter MacLeod

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