Tyketto: Dig in Deep
Tyketto and frontman Danny Vaughn in particular inspire a massive level of fan boy worship in people of a certain age. Neither Tyketto nor Vaughn as a solo act have reached the level of fame that their obvious talent would suggest. Vaughn is, I'd argue, one of the most underrated lyricists in the hard/melodic rock genre (alongside Alice Cooper.) For many people the first album by the classic Tyketto line-up is somewhat akin to the return of the Messiah and I can see why some may be disappointed because if you're hoping for an updated version of Forever Young you've come to the wrong place because this is much more like Vaughn's solo work and many of the tracks on Dig in Deep would fit on his excellent Traveller album seamlessly.
In fact, to those hoping that Dig in Deep would be like Don't Come Easy or Strength in Numbers I have to point out that Tyketto have, like Europe before them adapted to the new century and re-invented themselves in a genuinely rewarding way. If you're still stuck in the mid-1990s you may listen to this and be a disappointed bunny but if you are Mr/Ms Open Mind then here is a potential Album of the Year.
To illustrate the brilliance of this record I'd like to focus on a couple of tracks, firstly "Battle Lines" which opens with the following "I've been in to bad business, I've been out of my mind, I've been playing in traffic, I've been suffering in kind, I've been out in bad weather, a cause for concern, in the art of surrender I've got so much to learn," before becoming a bittersweet ballad which would have once been a potential hit (ironically given Tyketto's career.) The other key track is "Here's Hoping it Hurts" which employs some wonderfully embittered lyrics such as, "You gave your word, that's about as good as a newly-minted three dollar bill, I took my eyes off the road, what do you know, there you go with your hands stick in the till again." Somebody has obviously upset Danny and he's done what he does best and turned it into song.
Dig in Deep is full of equally great songs and even the much criticised production suits the earthy nature of the album which I heartily recommend. As I write this mid April 2012 Danny Vaughn is getting ready to play Colne Municipal Hall (near Burnley in East Lancashire if you're asking) with the Ultimate Eagles tribute band and Jedward are millionaires. I'm just saying…
- Love to Love
- Here's Hoping It Hurts
- Battle Lines
- The Fight Left in Me
- Dig In Deep
- Sound Off
- Let This One Slide
- This Is How We Say Goodbye.
Added: April 28th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
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|Tyketto: Dig in Deep
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-04-28 10:57:25
Can it really be twenty years since the classic line-up of Tyketto released their second and up till now last album Strength In Numbers? Well, I suppose the furrows in my brow don't lie, do they!? I may have not fared too well over the two ensuing decades, but one thing hasn't changed and that's Danny Vaughn's sublime, power vocals. Now to be fair to Vaughn, he hasn't exactly been idle over the years, releasing albums with Flesh & Blood, From The Inside and Vaughn, although after his departure from Tyketto following the release of Strength.... Tyketto on the other hand could only muster one album without him (1995's Shine, fronted by Tall Stories/Journey singer Steve Augeri) before splitting. The original line-up reconvened (Vaughn, Michael Clayton Arbeeny, Brooke St James and Jimi Kennedy) in 2004, performing sporadically over the next few years, before in 2007 an odds and sods release The Last Sunset-Farewell seemed to bring the curtain down one last time. Less than twelve months later Tyketto were back again and while it has taken four years for them to come good, their promise at that time to record a new album has now been fulfilled.
So what does Tyketto 2012 sound like? Well in truth, the answer to that is pretty much similar to the last Danny Vaughn solo album, with the melodic rock/country crossover that the singer did so well on Traveller, being much of the basis for Dig In Deep. Now on first listen, I have to be honest and say that I was initially disappointed with this approach. I love Traveller, but if one of the favourite bands of my youth was going to reform, then why end up sounding like their singer's solo work, instead of packing the powerful melodic rock punch that they once did? However a little time and patience have revealed two things. Firstly that Dig In Deep is a classy, if at times overly restrained album and secondly, the fact that the second half of the album easily outshines the first is also one of its deepest problems.
"Faithless" kicks things off, all introspective and serious and while the riff that drives it along is deep and guttural, somehow it doesn't quite pack the pop a really cracking kick-off track should. Edging into acoustic versus electric territory, "Love To Love" continues in a similar vein and at a similar pace, before "Here's Hoping It Hurts" plops into the same tempo as well. All three songs are good and in isolation, maybe even a little better than that, but as an introduction to such an anticipated comeback effort it is all a little under whelming. By the time I'd worked through the acoustic ballad "Battle Lines" and another couple of mid-tempo rockers, I'd nearly written Dig In Deep off as good, solid and safe, but not spectacular, special and memorable. However out of nowhere "Monday" ups the ante considerably, with a bright melody that had been lacking so far. It may be another steady paced track, but the vibrant hook just hits the spot. From there "Dig In Deep" provides the first true sing along moment on the album, before "Sound Off" manages to both make a pertinent observation on modern society and be catchy as hell! Oh and the riff during the chorus is to die for! "Let This One Slide", does anything but, kicking up a storm, combining rough tough guitars, with acoustic strumming, punchy drumming and vocals of the highest order. Things slow right back down for the beautiful "This Is How We Say Goodbye", a song which closes the album out in classy, restrained style.
Personally I'm not a fan of the shuffle button on my (or anyone else's) CD player, but in the case of Dig In Deep, mixing the pretty phenomenal final five tracks on this album throughout the first seven good, steady songs, would have made for a far better and more eventful album. As it is Dig In Deep takes you on a journey that if you can stick out the slow start, eventually rewards in stunning fashion.
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