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CD Reviews: Dishwalla
Dishwalla: Dishwalla
April 2005
By: Linda Spielman
album cover of Dishwalla's self-titled album

It has been almost ten years since Dishwalla released their first CD Pet Your Friends. Within the span of their career, the band has enjoyed massive radio success, years of rave reviews on all their releases, endless touring for the fans and military, and brought emotional relief to many in NYC following the 9/11 tragedies. Through all the hustle and bustle of an extremely successful career, Dishwalla has maintained the highest level of some of the most emotionally charged lyrics and streamlined, melodic alternative-pop music in the business. The band's fourth CD simply entitled Dishwalla further solidifies the band's commitment to themselves and to their fans by putting forth a stellar collection of truly amazing music.

JR Richards's voice is simultaneously sincere and intoxicating. His range has always been entrancing, going from a mellow and soothing tone, to a raging train of raw emotion. This CD allows his vocal talent to continue to shine brighter each time.

Although the band's last album Opaline drew critical acclaim, Dishwalla is very reminiscent of their debut CD Pet Your Friends. It has a harder edge and more guts than Opaline, yet remains equally as impressive with all it's musical elements. Dishwalla's live performances have always been some of the most solid and musically cohesive shows I have had the pleasure of seeing. Although this CD is not a live one, it truly captures the essence of the band as a whole on all musical fronts. For many fans of the band, Dishwalla is yet another release many find themselves having a hard time not listening to all the time. Songs like Collide, Forty Stories and Bleeding Out beckon the listener to continually discover new layers.

What is such a draw to many people who are familiar with the band and its music is the way the group the ability to create a musical vision for their listener. It could be Richards's writing in which he wears his deepest emotions on his sleeve, or Browning-Cravens's way of slipping in a truly surprising guitar riff where you least expect it or wailing through a verse to amplify it's meaning. Equally complementing is the true backbone of percussion and bass which has been a strong foundation for every Dishwalla song over the last ten years. Completing the musical circle is the whimsical as well as melodic ingredient of keyboards and synthesizers. When you melt all the elements of these five talented musicians together, true Dishwalla music is born which cannot be duplicated.

Dishwalla is strong; musically, lyrically and emotionally from beginning to end. The production is flawless and the band as whole has never sounded better. They have developed a formula in the last ten years that is unique to Dishwalla. With the release of Collide as the first radio single, many people are taking notice of the band once again. It is a heartfelt song about human error, humility and emotion. However, the track Coral Sky is perhaps the most instantly captivating on the album. Maybe it's the hook, maybe it's the guitars or the layering of many sounds and vibes, but the song clearly demonstates Dishwalla at their best.

Dishwalla continues to amaze and entertain both new and old fans alike while enabling music to do what it is meant to do--- to lead you into another zone where you simply feel, listen and enjoy.