It’s been five years coming, but Dog Is Dead’s debut album All Our Favourite Stories has finally been released, and my God, it was worth the wait. This is the culmination of years of work by one of my favourite bands, and it’s just perfect. There is not one track on this album that I don’t like, every single one tells its own story and every single one is just right.
However, when I first heard this album, I’ll be honest, I was disappointed. It sounded too over-produced, and too different from their original, stripped down sound that I loved so much. But after listening to it a couple of times I came to love it, as is the case with many of my favourite albums.
All Our Favourite Stories has a very full sound, created by five-way harmonies that really fill a space, and the use of Lawrence ‘Trev’ Cole’s wonderful saxophone playing really builds up this plump record. Dog is Dead’s favourite stories are riddled with full, huge sounding choruses, which are seminal in songs such as ‘Teenage Daughter’, ‘Glockenspiel Song’ and ‘Talk Through the Night’ to name just a few. The lyrics are unforgettable in many cases, such as the main chorus line in ‘Teenage Daughter’ – a song about a pregnancy scare – “I get used to it”. Although this line doesn’t sound that incredible when it’s written down, when you hear it recorded amongst a five-way harmony and backed up by two guitars, drums, bass and a keyboard, it sounds better than it reads. Trust me.
The album covers the highs and inevitable lows of growing up – the feeling of new love is shown in ‘Hands Down’, the aforementioned pregnancy scares in ‘Teenage Daughter’, and the feeling of not quite being an adult in ‘Young’ and ‘Talk Through the Night’. On the other hand, there’s ‘Get Low’ which covers feeling sad in the teenage years, ‘Two Devils’ which kills two birds with one stone, exploring both unrequited love and madness. Finally ‘Any Movement’ finishes the album off by moving on from sadness and bad times with beautiful lyrics and the same, gravelly kind of vocals that are provided by Rob Milton throughout the album. We also hear Cole’s saxophone again, which really help to create a beautifully sad, but equally uplifting song.
I would greatly recommend this album to anybody who likes a laid back, but energetic sound that really fills a space and moves the listener with really superb lyrics that tell many stories – some happy and some sad. All Our Favourite Stories is a really incredible culmination of many years of work by a band that are destined for and deserving of great things.
Released on 8th October 2012 by Atlantic Records