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David Fox: Scratches and Dust

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Artist: David Fox

Album: Scratches and Dust

Review by Alec Cunningham

If you were to trap The Beatles and the Beach Boys during their prime in a recording studio, the result would be a sound much like David Fox's. His first release, Scratches and Dust, does anything but disappoint. Not only does he have an astonishing talent for guitar playing, but he also has a genuine flair for writing.

Fox balances the songs concerning himself, his loved ones, and his own problems with songs that have to do with subjects that have a more worldly impact. Among these songs are "Desolation," "Greed," and "When". "Desolation" asks how much better off the world would be if there was no greed and "Greed" looks deeper into the situation to say that greed is what has ultimately caused the continuous pain and hunger within the world. The two songs carry much of the same message, though in "Desolation" he goes on to sing, "Don't let it get you down, there's nothing you can do about it anyway. . .Get yourself off the ground, just do what you can do no matter what they say." The way Fox sings "D-d-d-d-desolation" is the same as David Bowie sang "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" in "Changes," though the rest of the song carries dissimilar structure. "When" falls along the same lines of the other two songs in that it also speaks about greed, but the main question it poses is "When will we start being kind to one another?"

Fox generally takes a more mellow approach to songwriting and song composition, but the youthful teenage spirit in him almost jumps straight out in "Reckless." Though the song is fairly straightforward lyrically, having no more than 10 total lines, the song's assertiveness and the way that the lyrics are urgently expressed and repeated lends a quasi-punk rock air.

Not only does each of his songs tell a particular story, but they are told in impressive detail. He sets a timeframe for "Carnival Motion" by reminiscing on dates ranging from 1965 all the way to the 21st century. He uses these dates to guide each verse along and he explains that no matter what may be happening in our own lives or in society in general, the world will keep "turning in carnival motion." With a summer mood about it, the song calls to mind the sun-drenched, ocean vibes of the Beach Boys.

"Blues and Greens" is a sunny song in every sense of the word. Fox's descriptive lyrics paint a colorful picture of a time when troubles seem to evaporate and all that is left is a calm, peaceful world. The song has such a jovial atmosphere about it that you start to wonder whether Fox didn't steal it from The Beatles themselves. He sings, "You feel kind of high when the lids of your eyes can feel the sunlight streaming. . . And your troubles seem to fly." The lyrics alone are impressive, but the overall warmth of the song will leave you feeling uplifted and cheerful.

With a total of 16 songs, the entirety of Scratches and Dust can be difficult to wrap your head around upon first listen; however, the album is very well constructed and is therefore worth spending the extra time on. There is a definite sense of nostalgia created by Fox's music. Lively guitar solos pepper the album; however, because of the authentic, rich classic rock energy they exude they never disappoint or grow old. It is refreshing to hear music with character so strong that any notable classic rock band would be happy to call it their own.

 

Review by Alec Cunningham

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Commenting on the song "Greed" by David Fox:

"Haunting and beautiful.  John Lennon would've loved this." 

Paul Levinson, Author, Professor, Media Commentator, Blogger

Review by Bernard Overly, RockOn365's Legends of Rock, SRrocks.com

...very enjoyable...well produced...a pleasure to hear..."Scratches and Dust" is an album that you should have in your collection...one of the best albums that I've reviewed this year.

"Scratches and Dust" is first class all the way!"  

                                                                                          Gary KogonLititz, PA

"I have really enjoyed listening to 'Scratches and Dust'. Great songwriting, playing and production. Love it!"

                                                                                           Tom Hesketh, State College, Pa.