Not on Top review by Herman Düne

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.8 (6 votes)
Herman Düne: Not on Top

Sound — 10
The band's 2005 release "Not on Top" is the stepping stone that Herman Dune uses to make the transition from indie/anti-folk to completely indie/pop. The songs on the album sound like the band is having pure fun, this is reflected in many songs. Herman Dune uses a variety of fast, clean, pop electric guitars, slower acoustic, ukulele, keyboards and a special guest appeareance by Maritime indie artist Julie Doiron on bass guitar/vocals. Herman Dune has never had a strong bass influence, but with the former bassist of Canadian band "Eric's Trip" in the lineup there is a noticable complexity added to the overall sound. This album has such a rich spectrum of sounds that the album can not be desribed with just one mood.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics and vocals are signature Herman Dune: rhyming, simple, and relatable. David-Ivar Herman Dune delivers a solid, raw, French accented, vocal performance. At times David-Ivar sounds irresistably likeable, the song "Seven Cities" focuses on ketchup stained khakis, and at other times he sounds serious and professional, the song "Good for No One" is extremely haunting and dark. With the addition of Julie Doiron the album gets a strong female presence not just on backing vocals, but trading off with David-Ivar.

Overall Impression — 10
This is the only other album that I know of that can strongly compete with "Giant" for top spot in Herman Dune's Discography, not a coincidence that they are the two newest. The song "Not on Top" completely characterizes the album in sound and perhaps is the best song on the CD. When listening to Herman Dune it is a love-hate relationship, thus why this deserves a perfect 10, or a 0. This album, as well as all Herman Dune albums, are difficult to find in Canada outside of an internet source, and thus are irreplaceable. One of my favorite albums!

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