Messenger By Joe Pug
I think that today, Dylan comparisons seem to be as much of a hindrance as compliment to a lot of artists. They currently seem to be thrown around almost in excess. But, let’s get it out of the way. Yes Pug is a folk singer, yes he plays the harmonica, yes his lyrics are complex, intelligent, and they are as deeply personal and introspective as they are focused on the bigger questions the world has to offer. While these qualities may be ‘Dylanesque’, aren’t they qualities that every song writer hopes to achieve? If you are caught up in the comparison, just try for one second to stop and just listen to Pug. He speaks the truth.
“Messenger” is an impressive and genuine display of no frills songsmanship that any singer songwriter of any era would have to appreciate. I’m not even really sure what else to say about it other than it’s the type of song writing that demands the listeners complete undivided attention. If we are gonna stick with the Dylan comparison I’d have to say that “How Good You Are” is definitely the most “Blood on the Tracks” song on the album. However there is legitimate diversity by Pug on this record. For example, “The Door Was Always Open” has a sense of banjo laden whimsy that wasn’t present on Pug’s first Ep or on anything by Dylan. Just listen to it. It’s a powerful if not genre changing record.
Messenger 4.5 out of 5