In spring last year, when most artists’ careers were slowing down due to the isolation and enforced hiatus (hiatui? hiatuses? hiatery?) brought on by the pandemic, Dolph Chaney found himself riding high with the release of Rebuilding Permit. Although he has been steadily ploughing a poised, power-pop furrow for many years, it was this album that seemed to move him on leaps and bounds in the public eye.
And of course, the tricky thing with hitting career highs is that everyone expects you to maintain those standards going forward. It would seem, however, that Mr C is a man who rises to such challenges as This is… is the perfect way to follow last year’s cracker.
Whether it is the explosive and sumptuous rock grooves of I Wanted You or My Good Twin or the more melancholic, acoustic vibes of songs such as Meaningless or Sideless World, Dolph Chaney proves that writing Rebuilding Permit didn’t empty the creative tank, far from it. As always, he dresses even the most whistful and spacious songs with gorgeous additional textures which hang around the edges of the chords or thread their way between the spaces between the notes, or layers up the big ger rock numbers to glorious effect.
Most artists would be more than happy to have gathered all of their best creative urges together to produce an album as rich as Rebuilding Permit. Following such an album with another as groovesome and graceful as This Is… proves that it is just something that seems to come naturally to Dolph Chaney.