Dominic's debut sounds fun but will also depress the hell out of you.Lame-O Records, 2017
6.4 / 10
Dominic Angelella is no stranger to music. Although Goodnight, Doggies marks his solo debut album, he’s been a member of bands like Hop Along and Cold Fronts. Plus, he even contributed to records from Kendrick Lamar and other as a session musician. No surprise then that Goodnight, Doggies cycles through many different musical influences. Thematically, the album covers the good and bad of relationships with family and lovers. Dominic’s lyrics often paint a bleak picture while the music contrasts it with pretty melodies.
Religion finds a place as subject matter in some of the songs. “Savior” deals with being good to others (like a Christian) but not having the courtesy returned (by those calling themselves Christians). In Dominic’s words, it is a “deeply fucked power dynamic.” “Savior” is a rock jam favoring some of My Morning Jacket‘s less charged performances. However, Dominic doesn’t get stuck on one genre. He quickly changes gears on following track “Church Zero”. It is a lovely piano ballad where Dominic seeks fortune for the ones he loves by pleasing Beelzebub. No pentagrams and goat’s blood, just sadly played piano keys.
Just as sparse as “Church Zero” is “Cactus Flower”. The short song features just Dominic and an acoustic guitar. He throws a lot of angst behind his voice as he sings, “I thought you were in power/ But you’re a cactus flower!” Obviously anxiety fuels the songs on Goodnight, Doggies. Dominic sounds like a man betrayed on “Birthday Song”. Its friendly pop melody masks the loss of a friendship that Dominic once held dear. On album closer “Anxiety Coma”, Dominic wants to take control of his stress by becoming someone else. Goodnight, Doggies never lets in much sunlight. Still, listeners will find common ground in its songs.