Sean Dick is the lead vocalist of Sean Dick and the Dojo. He is accompanied by drummer Shaun Elley and guitar, bass, and keyboard player Benjamin Andrews. For years, Andrews and Elley professionally performed together in a jazz-funk ensemble. For ten years Dick only did gigs non-professionally. A year ago the three men began arranging music together. The experience excited them so much that they decided to form a band. The dojo was born.
Their first album, All the Good, blends styles of some of the greats (e.g. Wilco, Dire Straits, and Steely Dan). Despite the sometimes-melancholy lyrical content, the beats general possess jovial, fast, high-energy sounds. For example “Beautiful Day” talks about breaking up with someone, while using guitars and drums that maintain high speeds and rhythms. Likely, this method was used to demonstrate that even in a dark situation, joy could be obtained, a consistent theme in All the Good. Some of the other themes that influence the album’s sound and words are: self-discovery, strength, and lost love.
Even if this happened accidentally, All the Good’s tracks feel cohesive and unified. “The Worm” is the only song that’s not as harmonious to the album’s structure. However, the song gives the most energetic performance by Sean Dick and the Dojo. All the Good needs this song to keep the party going even after the song ends. “Power Levels” begins slowly by keeping the instruments at a monotone. Then the song quickly builds up and the guitar gains life, leading to some electric guitar solos. Eventually the song slows down even more with Dick repeating ‘I’ve run out of’ until the song completely stops: just like a power outage. “For All the Good” sounds nearly perfectly made for a driving scene in a movie. It creates a natural ease with the vocals, drums, and guitar.
Without knowing Dick, Elley, and Andrews’ musical background, it’s easy to listen to All the Good and hear their professionalism. The instrumental solos go on just long enough, and Dick’s voice stays within its vocal range, which adds an effortless quality to it. The only complaint about Sean Dick and the Dojo’s All the Good album is that it lacked more songs like “The Worm.” This song added such a fun surprise that more gems like this was needed. Overall, All the Good feels old school in the best sort-of way: careful crafting of lyrics and beats without losing the enthusiasm and love of playing music.
3/11/2014 09:10:18 am
Thanks for turning me on to such a fresh sound. While I agree "The Worm" hits as a surprise (pleasant) I find myself humming "Beautiful Day" as I get through my not so beautiful one.
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