That Dee Wolf remains the center of gravity in the universe of songs she performs in, is a testament to her considerable talents. She ably navigates any batch of songs that range from folk, country and blues to soul, pop and rock pieces. No matter the backdrop, Dee sounds completely in control. Her powers peak on a song called “Hands On Me”, a grandiose but intimate anthem for the passionate, set against a delicate piano and a heart-swelling string section, constructed by musician Charles Brusman.
The vocals positively tower, with Dee Wolf delivering its simple but profound solicitation – “I never knew my need could be so deep. Touched by you I can finally sleep. Get your hands on me. Put your hands on me.” The poignant but forceful words by lyricist Frank Topper is enough to reach every emotionally desiring soul that needs to hear it. Beyond the impacting lyrics, it’s Dee’s ability to command her voice, her intensity and power on a song like this, and the way every note seems to come from a place of pure passion.
Perhaps even more valuable than her vocal expertise, though, is the unique ability of Dee Wolf to put herself at the center of the narrative, in another’s place, and make you feel what the protagonists of the song are feeling and going through, via her voice. Charles Brusman’s carefully thought out musical arrangement lays down a luscious but restrained sonic backdrop, which allows for Dee to soar freely. She is thus able, undisturbed, to extract every nuance and sentiment from Frank Topper’s sensible pen.
On “No Way In Hell”, Dee Wolf delivers more high-flying vocals and an indisputable authentic performance, in a blues-rock track originally melodized by JDPmusic, with lyrics by Frank Topper. “I was getting stuff. Getting more. Planning to use behind a door. Shell of a person. Walking dead. Life revolved small views in my head,” sings Dee, her tone somber and bluesy, as she displays that empathy again, putting herself inside the storyline.
“No way in hell. No way in hell. Can get there from here, but there’s no way in hell,” exclaims Dee Wolf, allowing the power of the lyrics to shine, as well as that commanding presence in her voice. Topper’s lyrics are vivid and compelling, but never too transparent, forcing you to think it through. Dee is once again backed with an able, rocking instrumental, providing the lyrics and her ardent vocals a solid set of legs to stand upon.
This is, of course, aided by the steady-handed lyric sheet from Frank Topper. I’ve given praise to Topper many times before, and I will again. He continues to produce some of the smarter and better thought-out lyrics around today.
These songs seemingly don’t have much to do with one another on the surface, but Dee Wolf’s ability to understand and empathize with narratives, connects these tracks and explains the titles of these songs perfectly. For those of you concerned with finding good music, these are a couple of incredible songs, and Dee Wolf is certainly a force to be reckoned with vocally. Each track is at once deeply personal and broadly universal.