Lost Dogs - Green Room Serenade (CD)
- New Factory Sealed CD
This album comprises 15 tracks and everyone will have a different favorite. Daugherty's voice, the most distinctive of the bunch, is as sweet as honeysuckle and is the base of their harmonies but, like The Travelling Wilburys, they all trade off on vocal duties. Unfortunately Roe, who is the most vocally versatile of the bunch IMO, isn't represented all that strongly on this album.
A quick sampling of the songs will reveal their diversity: "Up In the Morning" almost feels like a Christmas song with its upbeat tones and harmony, it is bound to improve your mood no matter how black; "Cry Baby" which follows establishes an acerbic mild funk scratch; "Close But No Cigar" has Roe singing a Hawaiian country tune; "Sweet Work of Love" is a driving blues rocker--great song; "Mexico" has a little honky tonk strut to it; "The Prodigal Bride" utilizes the sounds of what was new country at that time (regular country now); "I Don't Love You" is a slow, acoustic, overly sentimental old-school country love song; "Breathe Deep" (which unfortunately may offend some as it sings a list of labeled persons, including "the least of these" and some of "the worst offenders", calling all to "breathe deep the breath of God" and in so doing puts us all in the same category) is pure adult contemporary pop.
This review would be remiss if it didn't at least touch upon the lyrics as this supergroup's members fronted some of the most influential and important alternative Christian artists of the 1980s. Just as there is a variety of musical stylings over and throughout the disc the Dogs draw from spiritual influences (Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will"--BTW, want an absolutely fantastic cover of this song? check out Human Drama "Pin Ups") as well as espousing their convictions to trust the Lord, calling for us to see ourselves with humility ("Breathe Deep"), or the expectation of ultimate transcendence ("Love Takes Over the World"). They also pay homage to influences (Elvis on "Close But No Cigar") and put up songs about relationships, usually fractured, but never too heavy such as on "Hey, You Little Devil".
We never got part two of the Green Room Serenade (named after the recording room that many of these artists used to record their projects). Pity. While not all of it works for me much because of the strong country undertones there is a great deal of variety and diversity, and there are some important songs. And, I think, this is the Dogs' most accessible release.