I have always harbored a strange resentment toward having missed out on the music of the '60s firsthand. However, sliding Dr. Dog's fifth album, We All Belong, into my friend's car stereo seemed to quench this '90s child's frustration.
We All Belong is a vintage album in every respect: from the '60s pop feel of the 11-track CD to the manner in which it was created. The members of Dr. Dog remain firm believers in keeping with the quality of their 1960s predecessors, using reel-to-reel tape machines and analog equipment to achieve this.
Dr. Dog makes impeccable use of the "oldie but a goodie" notion. They believe that the music innovations of the '60s have yet to be surpassed, and that emanating their style from this period gives them a more genuine sound. Their cheerful, pop-rock feel has a classic sound to it, with powerfully catchy choruses the likes of a modern-day Beatles and harmonies reminiscent of The Who.
At times, lead vocalist Scott McMicken's vocals have a soulful, early R&B feel to them. This is particularly noticeable in "Die Die Die," a gruff-voiced, lyrical masterpiece ... and just about the only song on the album lacking an upbeat melody. "The Way the Lazy Do," a mellow ode to the mundane, is comprised of the band harmonizing through the entire song.
Stating on their Web site, "We are interested in three-part harmonies, the out-of-doors, hoagies, vegetables and diminished chords," Dr. Dog draws its influence from what seems to be complete randomness. Regardless of their musical inspiration, however, the intention behind We All Belong as a whole is simple. This album will make you smile. More than likely, you will develop an incessant head-bob. Elaborate dance breakdowns are optional, but somewhat hard to resist.
Between McMicken's psychedelically distinct vocals, an ever-present, freakishly happy piano tune, classic guitar riffs and impressive, constant harmonies from the rest of the band, We All Belong falls nothing short of a trippy trip back in time.