Home Read Classic Album Review: The High Dials | A New Devotion

Classic Album Review: The High Dials | A New Devotion

The newly rechristened Montrealers dial up a timeless (& near flawless) bit of magic.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


What’s in a name? Just ask Montreal’s Datson Four, who were doing just fine, thank you very much — until New Zealanders The Datsuns and The D4 showed up and confused the hell out of things.

Rather than try to fight a battle on two fronts, the boys wisely retreated. Now they have a new name — The High Dials — and a poppy new disc called A New Devotion. Although, to be honest, it’s instantly obvious from the first track on this hour-long affair that the Dials’ true devotion is to the old-school pop songcraft and sonic textures of The Kinks, The Who, The Beatles, CSNY, The Mamas & The Papas and about a million other ’60s pop lengends. The jangly guitars, the tremelo-and-reverb production, the real handclaps, the three-part harmonies and lyrics about Diamonds In The Dark and The Morning’s White Vibration all remind you of some long-lost hippie combo from the Sunset Strip in the Summer of Love. Hell, A New Devotion is even that most hippiefied of albums: A thematic concept album about a paranoid guy trying to escape the confines of the evil city (or something like that). But whatever it is — or whatever you call them — The High Dials have made a timeless (and damn near flawless) piece of pop magic.


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