Dustbowl Revival “Is It You, Is It Me” (Medium Expectations/Thirty Tigers, 2020)

The new album from Dustbowl Revival isn’t “more of the same” it’s both “more” and “the same”. ‘Is It You, Is It Me’ is full of the interesting arrangements, intelligent lyrics, and stellar vocal harmonies that you would expect. At the same time, this album feels like the band spread their arms wider than they have on previous offerings and brought in an even broader swath of musical influences. Great work from the horns and rhythm section tame and unify all of the parts and pieces into something that flows smoothly from open to close.

The album is cohesive despite the diverse assortment of rhythmic and melodic directions that it explores. It manages to call to mind some of the biggest names straddling the line between Americana and Pop without lingering too long in its engagement with any external influences. It definitely has the potential for crossover success but it doesn’t shy away from weightier subjects in an effort to preserve that potential.

Is It You, Is It Me’ is a collection of songs that feels both vital and vicarious—as if the band is making a slice of everyday life feel “more alive” in each tune. The tie that binds the project together seems best summed up by the refrain in ‘Just One Song’: “I can turn it around – I can right a wrong – Give me just one song“.


Big ideas and a big sound add up to big fun

About Steven Rafferty 38 Articles
Writer, Musician, Political Junkie, Oilfield Hand in Recovery . . .
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