CD Review – Smith Westerns: Dye it Blonde

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Smith Westerns
Dye it Blonde
Fat Possum

While riding the bus recently, I heard an elderly man across from me complain, “Youth is wasted on the young.” If you added the age of each member of the Smith Westerns, it would possibly equal the age of my fellow bus rider. But it’s the youthful reverie and the easily recognized influences – think T.Rex, the Beach Boys, Beatles, or Bowie – that made the band’s self-titled debut so acclaimed. In the nearly two years since their debut, they’ve been busy. Not only did they graduate from high school, they wrote Dye it Blonde. On the new album they have improved their sound, written stronger lyrics, and mastered the art of the slow song. They certainly had access to a larger budget, and it shows. Yet they do not succumb to an overproduced sound. The album is well-rounded, with epic masterpieces and classic foot-tappers. “All Die Young” especially projects the aptitude and maturity that the last two years has brought them. It is in this track that the Smith Westerns show my crusty old bus companion the innocence and beauty in youth when they sing, “Love is lovely when you are young.”

Kelly Malone
Contributor

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