Much of Dawes' time between the release of their last album North Hills and the creation of their latest endeavor Nothing Is Wrong was spent constantly touring, and as any musician will tell you, life on the road can get quite lonely at times. Being away from family and friends for an extended period of time was evidently hard on the band, as this hackneyed theme of not really knowing where home is anymore makes itself present many times throughout Dawes' new record. But what's also come through non-stop touring is a closer camaraderie amongst the group, and as a whole, the band has clearly grown more together. The tremendous improvement from their last album to this new album is great proof of that. With more time to write and conclude ideas, Dawes manages to add increased moments of magic and bright new growth to their already striking harmonies. And overall, the songwriting, musicianship, and emotion on Nothing Is Wrong are just as impressive, if not more so, than the bands debut.
Right off the bat, lead singer and songwriter Taylor Goldsmith shines displaying his incredible ability to grasp a melody on the albums opener "Time Spent In Los Angeles". The song grieves the struggle of sustaining a relationship on the road, and Taylor's storytelling comes across as though he were telling you a story face to face. "My Way Back Home" works similarly, and the songs majestic and heartfelt ballads show an innate patience in their music. More crucial work on Nothing Is Wrong comes in "Fire Away", one of the albums more ambitious offerings, featuring an incredible outro guitar solo that will have your soaring high like a bird. Keyboardist Tay Strathairn stands out on just about every song, Griffin Goldsmith's (Taylor's 20-year-old little brother) drum work is incredibly clean considering his young age, and Wylie Gelber's bass work is effortlessly sincere. But what makes Nothing Is Wrong so special is the sum of all these parts, working impartially together.
The quality of the songs on the new record is undeniable. Each track is a deeply fulfilling journey into the unique perspective of Taylor Goldsmith, who delivers each story with expert language and no restraints. Whether he's singing about himself or about another man in another situation, you can feel the genuineness in his voice, and you will follow it from first verse to last. Though the lyrics can get very descriptive and sometimes almost too personal, the deep messages convey the susceptibility of basic human emotions, and your own realizations begin to appear in light of his words. Nothing Is Wrong is eleven honest-to-God songs throughout, and one of the best sophomore albums in recent memory.