Dhani Harrison is something of an enigma and I think that’s the way he likes it. When he started thenewno2 in 2006 it was because he wanted to remain a faceless entity. It is a commendable thing when one wants to be known for their own accomplishments. Jakob Dylan has struggled to do that with the Wallflowers, Sean and Julian Lennon have had a difficult time trying to separate from the legacy of their father as well. The McCartney children have made the wise decision to forego careers in music and instead forge their own path without comparisons.
One of the very few successful artists to distance themselves from their father’s legacy without diminishing it is Dhani Harrison. Thenewno2’s latest album thefearofmissingout is a showcase of that immense talent. With guest appearances by Ben Harper, Thorunn Antonia, Holly Marilyn and RZA from the Wu Tang Clan this album is by far the band’s best work yet. It is reminiscent of Radiohead’s King of Limbs in that it relies heavily on an electric sound while incorporating traditional instruments.
It’s because of that reliance of electronic almost dubstep sounds that I wonder about its staying power. I wonder if in ten years it will sound a bit dated. That, however, is not a reason to worry about this record, because while the electronic element is there it isn’t overpowering and frankly if every band worried what the album they were making would sound like in the future there wouldn’t be very much good music coming out.
The best collaboration on the album is with Harrison’s band mate from Fistful of Mercy Ben Harper. There is a natural kinship, camaraderie, brotherhood, whatever you want to call it, between the two and the ease with which “Staring out to Sea” comes across is a testament to that kinship. Harper fits well into this style well in this very modern sounding track. In fact, the whole album has a modernity about it that most artists can’t really say. I was very impressed with the direction of the album that has a sense of rapidity and ethereal floating that I have never heard before. This album is quite a feat and I would encourage a listen it is a school in modern music.
Best Song: Staring Out to Sea – As I stated above this song really sticks out on an album full of great songs.
thefearofmissingout is available now.
Thenewno2 are currently on tour.