This is interesting. Juliet Simmons Dinallo and husband Michael Dinallo are kinda like the Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo of country rock. She provides the bulk of the writing and vocals, he wraps around her with a guitar-driven sonic environment roughing up the edges of her lone-pine plaintiveness. The result blends aptly, forming the matrix from which all the disc's sonics arise, especially in tracks like Narcissus. And while Juliet's voice is strong, steady, and traditional, her writing firmly rooted in archetypes, there are a number of problems present in No Regrets as well.
The middle eights are much too brief, which tends to push the disc into a bit of formulaic linearity breeding sameyness. Unkindest Cut and Faded Highway break the pattern nicely but come in too late to turn the problem around. Truncating emphases in the instrumental side and accompanying that with repetitions of the basic beat and melodic flow is a dicey proposition: some audiences can't get enough of it (Journey's, Benatar's, etc.), others move quickly on, looking for greater variety, more pronounced shifts in dynamics. This CD being produced by Mike Dinallo alongside Ducky Carlisle, I'm guessing there wasn't the sort of push that would've come from a perceptive exterior producer. That's a real danger many fall prey to, dwelling in basic riffs and strengths but never venturing beyond or recognizing where one's hand's being overplayed. We well know that some debut releases come roaring out of the starting gate and grab ya by the throat while others showcase baseline talents and point to better things to come. This is one of the latter.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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