SJD: Songs From A Dictaphone
By Alison Millar
In order to review 'Songs From A Dictaphone', I deemed it necessary to revisit (repeatedly) SJD's previous albums '3', 'Lost Soul Music' and 'Southern Lights'. This presented no arguments in my household. With Beautiful Haze and I Wrote This Song For You enjoying continual (and deserved) radio play, I was a bit dubious about this much anticipated album. Being a fan of Donnelly's darker and more dynamic moments I was unsure if I'd take so well to an album clearly designed to broaden his market. No need. This is a sophisticated, engaging album which further demonstrates the musicality of SJD and his band while lyrically exploring some deeper idealogical themes. His awesome vocal range still gets a chance to shine and there is well-judged use of strings and horns on several tracks, particularly 40 Flights Up and The Last I Saw of Maryanne. A suitable feature at summer barbeques - I just hope his next album revisits the dark side.