Published Aug 28, 2018When you're an independent artist finding your way in an ever-changing industry, it's important to make distinct music. Whitehorse's Rob Dickson looks to accomplish this on his sophomore LP, Looking Through Your Window, and he somewhat does — with one major misstep.
The soft, gently picked guitar passages pluck along, boosted by subtle accoutrement of violin and piano. The Rhodes organ on "Autumns With Our T-Shirts On" and warm trumpets on "Warning Dove" bring such a soothing tone. "New One" is framed beautifully as a tender lullaby for his second child.
As much as this album achieves with its instrumentation (Jim Bryson's contributions don't go unnoticed), there's a very glaring problem: the mixing. Dickson's quiet and introspective vocal delivery can often be drowned out by other instruments, making it quite difficult to decipher some tracks. Early R.E.M., this is not.
When things do balance out like on the standout "Water Rushing In," (blending multiple perspectives on how Canada has evolved, or devolved in some ways) it makes for a captivating moment. But oftentimes, the genuinely meaningful lyrics are lost in a sea of volume.
Looking Through Your Window has some genuinely good moments but is severely hampered by production issues that make it hard to recommend if you're just coming across Rob's work. There is a lot of solid potential going forward, but better mixing is a must for things to progress to the level Dickson is more than capable of reaching. (So Sorry)