REVIEW: Dan Sultan | Blackbird

It’s been five long years since Sultan’s last release, but Blackbird was well worth the wait. Described as a mix of country, soul and rock and roll, Sultan’s latest music is much more than that. It’s Australian, and it’s good. Sultan’s new, unique sound can be heard on this third release which flew into stores earlier this month.

From the opening song, Sultan barely comes up for a breath. Each track is distinctfrom the last, and as the album progresses, it gets better and better. From country to soul to blues, to Aussie rock and even the appearance of a didgeridoo, Blackbird takes you on a tour through everything Australian music has to be proud of, and it’s a kick-ass itinerary.

The Same Man is the first single to be released from the album. Starting off with a bit o’ Sultan blues lovin’, it’s not long before the banjo is plucking and the male vocals are chanting a catchy hook that you can see a festival crowd having a good crack at. Sultan’s soul prowess is well exercised in Ain’t Thinking About You, and while it took him 10 years to uncover this gem, it has been brought to life in the best way possible – with a killer brass section.

I expected Blackbird’s final words to be soulful, reckless and dynamic but on the contrary, Sultan finishes off with Gullible Few – a naive and heart wrenching piano and vocal ballad that shows Sultan in a whole new emotional light.

Dan Sultan is back and with independent label Liberation, he has really found his feet. Blackbird is the album he was born to release. If you have felt slightly underwhelmed with his previous releases, please, give this one a chance. It’s good. Really, really good.

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