Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic

In many ways, the Canadian underground has struggled to keep up with its American counterpart in the past few years, but this hasn’t stopped tenacious singer/songwriters like Bobby Dove from making intriguing contributions to their regional scenes just the same. Dove’s new album, Hopeless Romantic, and its star single-title track don’t even attempt to rebuke the influence of indie players to the south of the Canadian border, but instead runs head-first into an aesthetical experiment that produces both mighty and meh-quality results. Hopeless Romantic is conventional in time and design – eleven songs, forty-one minutes – but I will say that its creator is hardly a status quo artist.

Golden Years,” “Sometimes It’s a Lonely Road,” “New Endings New Beginnings” and the aforementioned title track sport the same hybrid feel one would expect out of American alternative country material, but with an ironic self-righteousness to the lyricism that really grabbed my attention upon sitting down with this LP over the past week. There are moments when it seems as though Dove wants to be boastful in the most pessimistic of manners, asserting themselves as a provocative poet who doesn’t have to be particularly straightforward (or even artistically coherent at all) to make cutting points, and to me, these are the best instances of brilliance on the whole of the record.

While the lyrics are sometimes a little too blunt in their personal dialogue to be considered appealing to the mainstream, the songs “Early Morning Funeral,” “El Hormiguero,” “My World’s Getting Smaller” and “Gas Station Blues” exhibit a creative foundation you’d have to be completely ignorant not to detect. Dove definitely needs to decide whether or not they want to be known for personality over substance, but their songwriting chops are as strong as iron no matter which way you look at Hopeless Romantic.

There’s still a lot of ground this player will need to cover in order to get from the shadows of the Canadian indie market to the bright lights of an international stage, but Bobby Dove’s second album is nonetheless a fairly interesting piece I would recommend to alternative fans looking for something pastoral this February. Dove has a charm that is impeccably warm and friendly to come across, and if channeled in the right way I think it’s going to wind up producing a lot of hit material for their brand as the next few years go by.

Check out the official website for Bobby Dove  by clicking here. Give him a like on Facebook by clicking here. Pick up a copy of Hopeless Romantic on Apple Music by clicking here.

Eric Jarvis

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