This site requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download here.
The Washington Post: Review of David Nail's "The Sound of a Million Dreams"
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Quick spin: ‘The Sound of a Million Dreams,’ by David Nail
The Sound of a Million Dreams
Coiffed and dressed more like George Clooney than Hank Williams Jr., David Nail is something of a man apart among the would-be outlaws making records on Nashville’s Music Row. Just as distinctive is the Missouri native’s new album, “The Sound of a Million Dreams,” a polished, urgent, thoughtful record that subtly and convincingly demonstrates that not every male country singer has to be cut from the same bolt of cloth.
Rife with energy and imagination, Nail’s album, produced by left-of-center studio vets Chuck Ainlay and Frank Liddell, also proves how durable and elastic an idiom country music can be. The set-opening “Grandpa’s Farm,” for instance, gets a lift from febrile gospel shouters reminiscent of the unhinged background choir on Joe Cocker’s 1970 touchstone, “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” “Catherine,” the record’s elegiac closing track, features sighing B-3 organ fills and supporting vocals from Nashville roots-rocker Will Hoge. The result smacks more of Gregg Allman’s solo work than of anything on mainstream country radio.
Sandwiched between the attention grabbers mentioned above are nine well-built performances distinguished by ambient, live-sounding production and believable, cut-above-the-rest lyrics. Highlights include “Songs for Sale,” a mostly cliche-free meditation on the meaning of vocation, and “Desiree,” a lament sung from the viewpoint of a bereft young fellow whose girl leaves him for a guy with more money. As impressive as it is felt, Nail’s robust, resonant tenor just might be country’s most limber and soulful this side of Ronnie Dunn.
— Bill Friskics-Warren
“Grandpa’s Farm,” “Songs for Sale,” “Catherine”