Review: Dawson Cowals “Stop the Sun”

Dawson Cowals “Stop the Sun”

19 Jan, 2012 Matt Warnock

Leading with a finger-picked guitar lick, accompanied by sparsely chosen percussion hits, Dawson Cowals’ “Stop the Sun” is a well-written and engaging modern pop tune that reaches out to blend a number of musical genres before the last note marks the end of the song.  Building up from the light-hearted intro, the song soon adds in electric guitar, and a driving drum beat during the song’s pre-chorus and chorus sections, helping to add an extra level of interest as well as helping to build the song to the guitar solo and its eventual apex shortly after.

The guitar solo is indicative of how Cowals approaches the rest of the tune.  It is highly melodic, rhythmically tight, and builds from a slow start to a frantically-picked climax right before the vocals return in the next section.  As well as showing restraint during the guitar solo, using musicality instead of flash to engage his audience, Cowals also brings this approach to the rest of the arrangement.  While most musicians try to fill every second of music with either lyrics or riffs, Cowals is content to have moments where the rhythm section takes the spotlight and just lays down the groove.  This allows the song to settle, as well as helps to frame the riffs and lyrics when they reenter a few seconds later.  It’s hard these days to create something unique in the pop music world, but Cowals manages to do this by trying something many other artists ignore, leaving space, and the results are more than appreciated by the audience.

Overall, “Stop the Sun” is a fun musical journey that is well-written, creatively arranged and masterfully performed.  It is modern pop music at its best, and only acts to whet the appetites of listeners for more of the talented singer-songwriter’s output.

Review by Matthew Warnock
Rating:  5 Stars (out of 5)