Consumer Guide Album
Dylan Hicks: Ad Out [Soft Launch, 2017]
Singer-songwriters don't get more logocentric than the mild-mannered novelist-critic who dubbed his 1990 debut New Dylan. And though Dylanesque is not Hicks's way, I bet the guy he was named after is broad-minded enough to envy the observed likes of "Hear the the snaps of your jeans banging in the drier" and "Time it flies like Superman / Or gets stuck like celery strands." Vocally he's too smart to be wimpy, and a shifting band anchored by his cocktail piano accommodates horn section and pedal steel as needed. Hicks isn't above cleverness like "I just wanna be the Monkees to your Beatles / Wanna be the heat lamp to your sun" or "Persephone and Dante were down there / Bon Scott I guess was en route," and why should he be? But his deepest couplet is "You were interesting to me / Interesting to me," and his deepest song hard to penetrate: "Ambulance," where a feeble parent or disabled child or someone else altogether may be scared of the siren, in deep need of the help it promises, both, or neither.