Dr. Dog – Abandoned Mansion
Last year, Dr. Dog released a reworked version of their very first album, The Psychedelic Swamp. It was bright, playful, and, well, full on swamptastic. This year (technically, the end of last year), the world’s most well educated musical canines have dropped a very different sort of album. There’s a clue in the title. Abandoned Mansion stands high and proud, but there’s an unmistakably darker and generally more foreboding atmosphere. “You search through the dark of your deserted heart, To return to the splendor again.” But it’s not all cobwebbed ceilings and dusty drapes. For every slightly disconcerting image, there’s a wonderfully uplifting hook. “I’m on both sides of the line, Bitter on the fruit and sweet on the rind”. In fact, for an album that evokes Miss Havisham, this is a surprisingly sing-along proposition. If the refrain from the seemingly mournful title track doesn’t turn around in your head when you’re trying to get to sleep at night, then it’s possible you’ve never watched Sunset Boulevard. Could it be that after nearly 20 years of already excellent music making the Dog Drs. have produced their best album ever? It sure is. Abandoned Mansion isn’t just worth a visit. It should an essential stop on the magical Dr. Dog mystery tour.