Perhaps destined to be remembered as the funky blues-pop piano troupe that was the first band to be booted off VH1's Bands on the Run television series, Josh Dodes Band turn in a surprisingly accomplished debut album with Get Up. Made up of equal parts funk-blues tracks and brittle solo ballads, the album is winning almost from start to finish. Only on a couple of occasions does the band sink into never-ending jams, as on the John Scofield gone Dawson's Creek party song "Be My Friend, But Be Naked," the Medeski, Martin, & Wood-inspired contrived noise pop of "Rhinorocerous," and "Do the Do," which sounds a tad too much like the theme song to The Jeffersons. Otherwise, Get Up showcases Dodes' considerable songwriting talent and his striking vocal range. "Looking Back at You," a beautiful ballad, marries a citified Joe Jackson shuffle with a little bit of Michael McDonald's tenderness to nice effect. "American Angel" is wholly pleasant, organic jazz-pop with some diva background vocals thrown in for good measure. "Windows" is every bit as good as a Dave Matthews' ballad. If the backup vocalists sometimes get a bit noisier than need be, it's OK because the music is so fun and airy. Why not throw an accordion into the mix on the addictive, entertaining "The On & On"? Get Up is far more cohesive than one would expect, what with the constant shifting between sweet ballads and energetic funk songs, but it's a strong, exciting album that holds up no matter how big a flickerstick one waves at it.
Get Up Review
by Tim DiGravina