Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dom Liberati - The Good Hurt

It’s rare that an album comes across my desk for review that has me excited after a quarter-listen. However, that’s exactly how I felt by the time I got to the third track on The Good Hurt, the latest disc from Dom Liberati. Having not heard of this amazing musician before, I scolded myself for not knowing of his brilliance sooner. The last artist that made me this excited about music was Doug Keith. Liberati has a lot of Keith’s talent and ability, but blends it with different influences.

Liberati’s love of Kings Of Leon is evident on The Good Hurt. During certain songs his voice is a dead ringer for Kings Of Leon’s Caleb Followill. At other moments, the voice is all Liberati’s. At all times, his voice is exceptional. Think of Dom Liberati as Doug Keith for the hard rock crowd. While Keith is an amazing modern folk artist, Liberati is an amazing modern rock artist.

Liberati has the distinction of doubling as the bass player for the band as well as being the lead vocalist. No one’s been this good at pulling that double duty since Kip Winger. Not only does he have a talented voice with a distinctive style, Dom Liberati is also an accomplished bass player. The changes he puts throughout the songs are as noticeable as they are enjoyable. The bass takes center stage on several songs, which only adds to the greatness of the album.

The lead track, “We Own The Night,” is a brilliant set up for the amazing sound that follows. Launching with a cool acoustic guitar riff for the first verse, the powerful electrical instruments kick in for verse two and the listener is hooked. An exceptional song with a powerful chorus “We Own The Night” is a great lead off track and a smart choice for the lead single from The Good Hurt. If ever there was a song that worms it way into the ear and stays in the brain screaming “hit repeat and play this again!” “We Own The Night” is that song. A modern day anthem for the modern rock fan, “We Own The Night” is going to be a modern day mega-hit.

“Changing August” is an incredible song that shows off Liberati’s vocal talent as well as the band’s musical talent. Here, the Kings Of Leon influence is most evident, yet the song has its own unique flavor that only Liberati can add. “Changing August” is a brilliant metaphor for life. At its heart, the song is about the end of the summer and how that changes people and brings with it mild depression. As a metaphor for life, it can also be interpreted as someone entering middle age. The line, “the leaves come rolling in life thieves and steal my joy again” is pure metaphoric poetry. A beautiful, mid tempo rocker with a powerful hook, “Changing August” will make you a Dom Liberati fan and cement the fact that he is an amazing musician.

If “Changing August” makes you a Liberati fan, the following song, “Won’t Let You Down,” will make you want to purchase everything Liberati has ever done. Opening with a slick guitar riff and Liberati’s huskier vocals, “Won’t Let You Down” is a song set up for greatness. By the hook, the slow tempo opening riffs give way to a hard backed, banging rock beat while Liberati’s vocals kick up an octave and embrace the magnificent beauty of the song.

While Dom Liberati is technically a solo artist, he was smart enough to include Tony Solis (guitar) and B.C. Taylor (drums) to complete his trio and record one intense record. Guitarist Tony Solis has his moments to shine as well. His solos on the earlier track set the table for what is to come later. On “Lookin’ Around” Solis finally gets to cut loose and he delivers with a furor.

The Good Hurt is hands down the best album I’ve heard in 2011 (thus far) and is the immediate front runner for the coveted title, “Album Of The Year.” If there is one record you buy this summer, make it The Good Hurt by Dom Liberati. You may not need any other album after that, because all of your free time will be spent playing The Good Hurt over and over and over again.

Ryo’s Rating: 9 (out of 10)

Track Listing
We Own The Night
Love Holds It Down
Changing August
Won’t Let You Down
Next To You
The Solution
Lookin’ Around
Semicircle Effect

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