On Dax Riggs’ second solo album, prepare for a record that will have you fooled until the last guitar strum. Whether it is Riggs himself or his erratic musical instincts, “Say Goodnight To The World” should be diagnosed with a Bi-Polar disorder. Construed within each song’s eccentric yet somber temperament, is an album’s worth of thick ghostly atmosphere. Imagine taking an aimless midnight drive on a desolate desert highway; with nothing but the dim glow of headlights to guide you.
Opening with the sludgy-blues of the title track and “I Hear Satan”, one cannot help but compare to The Black Keys with their signature soulful sensibilities. I’m sure Jeff Buckley is also a fair comparison that has been mentioned in his career. As with Buckley and The Black Keys, the song arrangements are simple in nature all while attaining a hollow vintage sound. This has been notably duplicated many, many times but rarely successfully.
Followed very closely are Riggs’ delicate wails on “Like Moonlight” and “You Were Born to Be My Gallows”, drizzled in lucid melodies, unveiling a longing soul. Think you got it all figured out right? Wrong. “Gravedirt On My Blue Suede Shoes”, “No One Will Be A Stranger” and “Let Me Be Your Cigarette” offers a catchy, dare I say, pop ambiance. With its heavy chord changes and progressive drum beats, it was very unexpected amongst the supporting cast. It provided the near perfect mixture and truly rescued the album from being excessively droning.
I commend Riggs for the calculated risk of tackling a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. It was an interesting experiment, even if for novelty. More or less, this explains the entire album and Riggs’ willingness to think outside of box and ignore accepted trends of modern music. With its tight production encapsulating the gloss of true soul to shine bright all the while controlling the blurry dissonance; “Say Goodnight to the World” is a treat for those craving something different but strangely familiar.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.