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Dorothy’s sophomore album, 28 Days In The Valley, gets raw and personal

The LA based-band Dorothy is known for their very heavy, rough songs that bring back the satisfaction of genuine Rock N’ Roll. But fans who might have been expecting the same toughness and anger in the band’s new LP, 28 Days In The Valley, that we heard in their debut album ROCKISDEAD, may be in for a bit of a surprise. This album shows a somewhat softer, more vulnerable side to Dorothy and has the nostalgic rawness that could take you back to a music festival in the 60s or 70s, as these songs are influenced more by Folk, Western, and Blues Rock, along with a few other Rock variations. For this style, frontwoman Dorothy Martin lightly shifts her famously strong and intense vocals so there can be more focus on their tender soulfulness; while staying as powerful as ever.

“Flawless” kicks off the album and is its first single. It talks about the anger and pain caused by a rough breakup, but in a way that shows her recovery and development of self-love. The music video briefly starts by showing the initial heartbreak, but quickly turns the focus towards simply loving life and those around you; offering a lot of beautiful and fun imagery to fittingly contribute to what was already a freeing and feel-good song. “Who Do You Love,” as well as “We Need Love” which plays at the end of the album, are the most driven songs that are closest to ROCKISDEAD‘s style.  “Pretty When You’re High” is on the sentimental side without being gloomy. Rather, the sound is similar to “Flawless” in that it’s very lighthearted and something that you would want to sway along to while out in the sun. Its lyrics are an ode to a specific person; likely a former lover and/or acquaintance. Either way, the song is full of nothing but fondness for that person. “Mountain” immediately gives off a more Western, Country/Folk vibe, but also maintains light bluesy Rock. It’s a nice sing-along tune but with a bit of a solemn tone to it. The lyrics essentially describe a girl who hides away from everyone; and the constant effort to help her and convince her to come out. “Freedom” is the namesake of the band’s most recent tour and listening to the lyrics, it really makes sense. Martin first praises what she loves about being on the West Coast, her home, and later talks about the East Coast. So it’s possible the song is really about the experience of touring; supported by “I got my roots deep in California, but the road got into my bones.” It’s a relatively chill Blues Rock song that practically explodes during the chorus. Honestly a fitting tune to listen to on the road. In “White Butterfly,” Martin talks about her damaging lifestyle; and this is her cry for help and search for her pride. Overall it’s a bit more picked up, but with times where it’s much more slowed down to be more matching with the subject material. There’s also a resonance that contributes to it being a powerful song. “28 Days In The Valley,” the album’s namesake and interlude, apparently represents the recording of it; including how long it took and the location. It’s short and the heavy Desert Rock influence makes it perfectly fitting for an old Western. The lyrics simply repeat “I’m young and I’m free 28 days in the valley,” referring to the experience which she’s described as “a spiritual journey and very healing” (Blabbermouth.net).

“On My Knees” and “We Are Staars” are full of confidence and a care-free attitude, so they’re more fun and easy to dance to. “Black Tar & Nicotine” has another solemn tone; slowing down the pace and describing life as an addict. She talks about leaving everything behind and letting substances consume her until she was essentially empty and alone. The third verse is especially intense as it implies dying from an overdose. This could either refer to a near-death experience or the death of another. Either way, this in particular is a devastatingly powerful and emotional song. “Philadelphia” is about a discouraged affair and is full of mind-numbing ecstasy and lust. It has an almost psychedelic feel to it, with a flowing tune and Martin’s soft and tender vocals that we don’t get to hear as often. “Ain’t Our Time To Die” seems to be a self-encouraging song, with Martin talking about how she’s dealt with her inner demons through ultimately self-damaging methods that could potentially have fatal results. But she reassures herself, repeating “You’ve got to believe me baby, it ain’t our time to die.” The atmosphere of this song is full of determination and a fighting spirit.

While ROCKISDEAD was well-known and loved as a gritty, angry, hard-rock album, 28 Days In The Valley takes a step back to embody a more relaxed, freeing, and reflective tone. The overall sound feels heavily influenced by Classic Rock, and what’s especially enticing is that it’s more based around personal stories that, in addition to the shift in style, indicates growth in the band. Whichever sound is favored by more fans, this album shows Dorothy is staying refreshingly genuine.