Dirty Heads - Sound Of Change

Review by Seth Wood

Music can be used for many different things. Some people just want to sit in a dark room and surrender their emotions to the music, letting the sounds showcase their astounding power to manipulate a person’s feelings. Those same people might also need something to energize them so that they can get through the final hour of work, or the last five minutes of a long run. There are also things like elevator music and background music, which are meant to be heard but not necessarily listened to. The new Dirty Heads album, Sound of Change, is the kind of album that loosens your nerves and makes you feel content. Listening to it brought back all the memories I have of being on beaches, forgetting all my worries and having the time of my life. Giving the album a listen while in bed was the perfect way to end my day, as I drifted off to sleep feeling nothing but calm.

The real strength of the album is the production. There are so many interesting tones on here. New ones are brought in constantly, which keeps the listener’s focus on the music and nothing else. Anyone who has heard the group’s massive single “My Sweet Summer” will understand what I am talking about: the hook in the chorus sounds like some crazy electronic communication coming down to earth from an alien who is flying overhead and ready to party. The group continuously finds new ways to stimulate your ear, which makes the album a real treat.  

Vocally, the band sings and raps. I would say it is 60 percent singing and 40 percent rapping. I would have been happy with the entire album being void of rap. Every verse (aside from the one performed by independent music juggernaut, Tech N9ne) sounds the same, and none of them really match the beat well. Anyone who sees hip-hop as being connoted to Biggie, Nas, Ice Cube and the like will dislike the rapping on this record very much. Now, it is really not a rap record, so I suppose I should not take the rapping too seriously, but then again, if you are not trying to make a rap record, maybe you should not include so much rap into your songs.

The album is really just another pop album. As I said initially, the production is fantastic and makes the record worth listening to; however, this album does not offer any kind of lingering reward like the really great ones do. In my opinion, the really great stuff is electric. Even when it is slow, it still excites you and makes you feel awake in its own unique way, and you begin to crave this feeling for weeks on end which brings you back to the album. Sound of Change is a really fun listen, and something I will definitely be bringing with me on my next vacation, but there is little else I can say about it. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Listen to "My Sweet Summer"

The Relapse Symphony - Shadows (The Acoustic Sessions)

Farewell, My Love - Wrapped Up In Pinstripes