Electric Souls

This blog is about the new album by Dmitry WildElectric Souls. It is not about the rabbit trails that I tend to take random walks down.

Fear is often portrayed as something that is bad and to be avoided at all costs. As part of an addiction treatment program, I taught a module focused on fear and its role in our lives. I hoped the men would walk away with the key that fear is not always bad. It can be a good thing. For example, I am afraid of standing too close to the edge of canyons. That is not acrophobia, which is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. My fear is situational and rational because there is a risk of falling, and I want to avoid falling from any height that could harm me. As an afterthought, it is not the fall that usually hurts people; it is the sudden stop at the bottom.

Dmitry Wild mentions fear in several songs in his Electric Souls album. The first instance is in the opening track, 21st Century, where the narrator is “setting fears on fire.”  21st Century is a terrific opener. It has energy, which, incredible as it may seem, gets carried forward and amplified through the remainder of the album.

Track two, Sweetest Thing, opens with fear, “Fear that’s standing at your door.” We are now facing our fear face to face; it is standing on the threshold of our lives. Interestingly, after saying, “That old hag is not your friend,” we are told to “Stop coming back to her dirty den.” The fear doesn’t come to us; we go to the fear. We go to its dirty den. Coming back is not a singular event because we are told not to “keep coming back.” We humans like to keep returning to the things that hurt us, such as addictions and compulsive behaviours. Sometimes it is no more profound than the fact that we have lived there so long it has become the only place we feel comfortable.

 We “keep coming back” because “Your comfort made you numb.” That little nugget of information is in the song Liberation Woes, although the refrain echoes the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb. Finding comfort by making ourselves comfortably numb is how many people live their lives, including the narrator.

So, how does the narrator get out of this dilemma? The song Liberation tells us that “love will rise and set us free.” Liberation is also one hell of a jam track. The guitar soars, and we sing/shout the refrain till our throats are sore and love sets us free.

Moving forward from this arena rock candidate, we come to a happy little ditty called Don’t Need Anybody. This song hits the nail on the head for my preferred method of making myself comfortably numb. “If I only had money/to go and buy something,” I would be all right. The something in that refrain is usually music. If I only had money, I would buy a record or a CD. If I only had money, I would buy Dmitry Wilds’s new album, Electric Souls. 

And then we come to what is most likely my favourite track from an album full of goodies, Summer of 21. This song sounds so happy and tells us we have “nothing more to fear.” As incredulous as it may seem, “can you believe that all diseases gone/can we believe that all the wars are done?” Unfortunately, the narrator and his friends will seek liberation through libation. They “are going to drown all” their “sorrows.” While that may seem like a good thing when they are “young, free and able,” I can tell from personal experience that it doesn’t work. Sorrows can not be drowned. You might make them soaking wet, but they bob to the surface and survive to pester us again. However, Summer of 21 is a terrific track if you can avoid reading my blog before you hear it. It trots along at a happy jaunt that reinforces the freedom the narrator seeks. The Summer of 21 is also a pleasant jam track. I can imagine this track in a small venue packed to the rafters with those who are “young, free and able.” The crowd would jump for joy as the guitar cuts through the crowd and ignites their pent-up energy. Not to be confused with The Summer of 41, which is a great book, this song is terrific. The Summer of 22 is gliding into autumn, but I will put Summer of 21 on my Summer of 23 mixtape.

Heads up! The next track is called Castle Walls, and it has a straight-through rock and roll feel with some searing beautiful lyrics.

“When you took my last name.” That is what happens when a couple is married, usually. One partner, usually the woman, takes their partner’s last name. Now, this is the part that I like. “There is nothing more a man could want.” When the castle walls, my defensive barriers, come tumbling down, and after the smoke clears, “There is nothing more a man could want.” There is nothing more a man could want than a loving woman who will help him navigate life.

At this point in the album, Dmitry Wild takes us on a journey via some waltzing, lilting music to the old world. God Ghost and a Ship is a fun little song. I have no idea what the message is in this song. I didn’t bother to unpack it. I chose to sit back and let the music wash over me.

Wizard and Small Affliction close out the album on a positive note. In the song Wizard, we learn that the only trick the Wizard knows is his love for her, the woman who took his last name. In Small Affliction, the narrator closes out the album by telling his love that she is his and will always be his.

Both of these tracks have a gentler, pastoral feel to them. Wizard is propelled forward by an acoustic guitar and joined by what almost sounds like a dash of C/W influence.

Small Affliction carries the acoustic guitar as well as a gentler lyrical accompaniment. It brings us down from the lofty heights of the rock anthems we heard mid-album, to a smooth exit that makes Electric Souls an enjoyable album to listen to from start to finish.

So, there you have it, Electric Souls by Dmitry Wild. A solid album that I fell in love with on the first listen and then let it grow on me over the next dozen or so listens. There is a quality in this album that I like. It is not a sappy boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl album. No, siree, this album has some depth to the lyrics that only a repeated listen will unlock for you to hear. The same goes for the music. It has layers and layers of sound that deserve more than a casual listen. Overall I would rate this album as a solid listen that I wouldn’t be surprised to see on some end-of-year lists, perhaps even mine.

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