Dori Freeman’s silky vocals soothe and warmly invite listeners to travel with her as she explores the hills and valleys of various musical landscapes. On Do You Recall, her fifth studio album—following 2020’s Ten Thousand Roses—Freeman moves from pop to folk to old-time as she ponders the rockiness of relationships, the injustices inherent in a divided society, and the yearning for self-acceptance.
The album kicks off with the title track, a glittering soul number that unfurls spaciously, evoking the pleasures of the early moments of a relationship and the ways that those moments linger even in the present moment. The bright rhythms of shuffling, reggae-inflected “Wrong Direction” belie the hesitant insecurity that partners experience in the ups and downs of a relationship.
Snaking electric guitar riffs create a haunting atmosphere on “Soup Beans Milk Bread,” a grim indictment of the ways wealthy outsiders inject poverty into the Appalachian region. With its pop hooks, the propulsive rocker “Why Do I Do This to Myself” mimics the messiness of life and the propensity to sabotage one’s self no matter how good life seems to be going. On the old-time, country folk rambler, “Laundromat,” the guitar strums and drum brushes mimic the sound of the sounds of the washer and dryer cycles, and the song itself is a paean to washing away some bad memories.
“Good Enough” opens with a riff that recalls the Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone,” and its swirling guitars and organ strains provide the foundation for the singer’s moments of self-doubt. Rolling banjos cascade and lead guitar lines tumble in the airy, psychedelic folk of “River Runs,” while pop and folk combine in the album closer “Gonna Be a Good Time.”
On Do You Recall, Dori Freeman displays her lyrical ingenuity, and her radiant vocals illuminate some of life’s brightest, and many of its darkest, moments.
Do You Recall is available HERE