Amsterdam-based country artist Jan Kooiker, aka Silas J. Dirge, returns with this exceptional sophomore release. It's a follow up to his already-flawless debut Tales of Woe. Though not without his knack for the dark and macabre, The Poor Devil puts him in the company of country greats such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Carter Family, and other legends. With great precision, boundless creativity, and a craftsman's touch, Silas creates musical landscapes that place him far above his more famous contemporaries. As such, The Poor Devil further showcases more tunes from one of the most daring, creative country artists out there.
Thumbs Up: Like his debut, there's not a bad song on the album. The attention to detail, haunting instrumentation, and Silas' unmatched ability to perfectly balance vast orchestration and stark soundscapes is on full display here. Lyrically, each song is a short story that will linger in the imaginations of listeners long after the album's finish.
DM's Two Cents: I tried to find some criticisms and, again, could not. This is just a damn good album. It will be interesting to see where his next album takes us. Personally, I'm hoping he'll get a little weirder and unrestrained with his next compositions. Keep the old-school country sounds, but don't be afraid to go big. Don't be afriad to show off those vocals chords a bit more. Dude can sing! And throw some spooky cellos on there!
Standout Tracks: "Hear Its Roar (When It's Black)" is the best track Silas has done yet. It is daring, strange, and ultimatley beautiful. He also showcases his impressive vocals more, letting go of his typical vocal restraint when belting out the song's title.The instrumental "A Land More Kind Than Home" has the spirit of an Ennio Morricone score. The jaunty "Black Dog" harkens to greats of Southern Gothic literature such as William Faulkner and Flannery O' Connor.