Seeing Things The shadow of the father looms large for Jakob Dylan

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After seeing an NPR All Songs Considered Tiny Desk Concert video podcast with a taciturn Jakob Dylan, I poked around in iTunes and picked up Seeing Things, Dylan’s 2008 full-length album.

Acoustic and mellow, the real feature item across the track list is Dylan’s voice – similarly unadorned to his father (no prizes for guessing whom), but with a warmer, smoother edge and less of the idiosyncrasies that pervade the elder Dylan’s vocals.

With such an placid performance and song-writing style, unfortunately some tracks leave little impression for better or worse.  With a thoughtful and slightly melancholic America ambience, there is space for a little rage, angst or frustration to infiltrate the song-writing and delivery.  The result is that some tracks work well with the wistful, simple style and others feel oddly empty of any character or animation.

Highlight tracks are Everybody Pays as They Go, with a sense of resignation in life, and War is Kind, with a strange sense of familial fondness and character about war.

The instrumentation is appropriate, but similarly suffers from feeling too indistinct at times. On the whole, the album is an enjoyable listen, however suffers from being uneven and lacking in standout features.  While it plays well in the background, it never creates enough force musically to push its way into the foreground.

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