By Joshua Wallace

This is a breath of fresh air in a year that has so far been void of great releases.  Bobby Dove has released their second LP in Hopeless Romantic.  It follows the also great 2016 release Thunderchild.  I must admit, this is my first experience with Bobby Dove’s music.  I saw this release recommended several times on Twitter and when I finally listened to it, I was blown away.  Great traditional country music here with good song writing, some variety and yes, it has pedal steel.  Read on to find out why this is the first record I’m writing a review for in 2021.

If you like twang in your country, the opening title track to Hopeless Romantic will be all you need to hook you.  I love Bobby’s vocal range on this track and the instrumental is tight and fun.  The interplay with the pedal steel and lead guitar is great.  I love lyrical turns like “I’m a known assassin // When it comes to killing years // My heart’s been stranded // And I’ve been branded //A hopeless romantic”.  This track has everything you need to get you into the groove for this record.

Another favorite is the upbeat “Gas Station Blues”.  Once again, Bobby shines with great vocals on this track that is built around classic blues characteristic of repetition with variation.  Each opening line gets repeated with some variation in the second.  I dig the guitar solos after each short verse too.  It’s a song I can’t wait to hear a live version of as I’m sure it will be a jam.  Also be sure to check out the ballad “Haunted Hotel”.  It’s a story song about an unrequited love affair between two singers.  It explores the ups and downs of such a relationship and the lonely feelings that can come with it.  I love the haunted sounds of the pedal steel as it plays off the piano in this track.

Another track you should check out is the Spanish language “El Hormiguero”.  It’s a slow haunting ballad about a love that destroys you to the point that you have an out of body experience and get to look down at your experiences like it were an “ant hill” which is what the title translates to.  I love the whining pedal steel on this track and it’s a great ballad with strong Spanish vibes.  Finally, you need to check out the acoustic number “Golden Years”.  It’s a highlight of the record with great guitar playing and vocals from Bobby.  It’s a song about questioning how you made it so far and how you’ll make it to your “Golden Years”.  It’s a very good and simple track that deserves a listen.

Bobby Dove’s new release is a bright spot in these dark times.  If you like good traditional country sounds, I highly recommend checking this one out.  If you like good pedal steel and a healthy dose of twang on your songs, I highly recommend checking this one out.  I have to give props to the pedal steel player Burke Carroll and piano player Steve O’Connor for their exceptional playing on this album.  The entire band is great, but they are certainly highlights that will have listeners coming back for more.  Hopeless Romantic was released independently on February 12th, 2021.

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Favorite Tracks : Hopeless Romantic, Gas Station Blues, Haunted Hotel, El Hormiguero, Golden Years

Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic (2021)

  1. Hopeless Romantic
  2. Sometimes It’s A Lonely Road
  3. Gas Station Blues
  4. Chance In Hell (With Jim Cuddy)
  5. My World’s Getting Smaller
  6. Haunted Hotel
  7. Like It Or Not I Love You
  8. El Hormiguero
  9. Early Morning Funeral
  10. Golden Years
  11. New Endings New Beginnings
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