You cannot grow talent, even if you are Dylan Gardner. Gardner’s debut album “Adventures in Real Time” was released Jan. 6. Dylan first gained popularity through his musical cover of the Beatle’s “Abbey Road” on YouTube, causing his video and music to go viral. I find it ironic that he looks like a member of the Beatles, brown mousey hair and guitar in hand.
Gardner’s music is not without fault but it does have positive qualities. His music is catchy and a bit eccentric, allowing you to tap your foot to it. You can see how current music has inspired him since it is reflected throughout his music.
However, his music is almost a direct copy of other artists. While listening to Gardner’s song “Too Afraid to Love You” I was immediately reminded of “Everybody Talks” by the Neon Trees. Later when listening to the songs one after the other I realized the chord progressions were similar, the pattern of his speech and it even seemed like you could exchange the lyrics between songs and notice no difference.
His music is unoriginal and lacks creativity that has not already been portrayed in songs with more substance than his own. A good example of this is portrayed in Gardner’s song titled “Feeling of Love” the chorus of which sounds oddly similar to the chorus of “I Live” by One Republic. Another sample is the chorus of Gardner’s song “Invincible” that sounds exactly the same as the chorus of “We Are Young” by FUN.
You can go any genre currently in music and find a song about a girl and love that it is almost the new normal. Gardner took the idea of a guy falling for a girl and based most of this album’s songs around the premise without expanding on a greater idea or venturing to something new. If one were to compare the story and art of Gardner’s songs to that of “Yesterday” by Atmosphere. Gardner’s songs are outmatched by “Yesterday” which including a focus for attention to detail in order to see a greater picture forming throughout the piece. Meanwhile Garner’s music contains nothing of substance or story.
Some of his titles are even self contradictory including “I’m Nothing Without You” directly followed by “Too Afraid to Love You.” Gardner did include however some catchy choruses that caught my attention for the moment.
In the end, the music just fell flat for me. I have this sneaking suspicion I have heard this before. The lyrics contained simple rhymes instead of a story telling focus that I personally look for in a good song. I am not the target audience for this genre of music; however some may enjoy it. The songs do contain good elements, just not enough for me to consider him the next great singer of our generation.
Overall Gardner is very talented for his age in his ability to construct songs. His songwriting ability strives over others but in the end lacks the uniqueness throughout his music to compete with the music of our time. Gardner in the end left no lasting impressions. He is just another man with a guitar.