Legendary Actor Improves Second-Time Around
If one were to hear the name David Duchovny, what would immediately come to mind is the actor who starred in TV shows such as Californication and The X Files, earning Golden Globes in both. But in 2015, Duchovny decided to try his hand at music and released a rock-oriented record called Hell Or Highwater in which he sang and played guitar. The album was moderately well received by critics, who were pleasantly surprised by his decent vocals and strong songwriting chops. Three years later, the actor has returned with a follow-up, Every Third Thought.
One of the early criticisms of Duchovny’s first album was that it emulated his influences too openly, in that while critics enjoyed the songs, they didn’t quite sound original. On Every Third Thought, however, he’s found a little more of his own voice. Speaking of voice, Duchovny’s vocals are low and soft. Rather than singing earnestly, he chooses to take a more nuanced and narrative tone to fit the introspective lyrics. The music is a blend of alternative rock, folk rock and country, similar to his first work. He originally cited Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Wilco and R.E.M among others as his main influences, and the songs prove it.
There’s not a lot of attitude or aggression on Every Third Thought. The only two tracks that exhibit any sort of rawness are the title track and “When The Whistle Blows.” Most of the other ones are mellow, though some clearly stand out from the others. “Roman Coin” could fit into The Beatles’ later catalog, and the acoustic picking and piano on “Maybe I Can’t” combine into a peaceful little folk number.
While there’s certainly progress in Duchovny’s songwriting, the drawback is that he still isn’t quite there in terms of developing his own sound. He’s got all the right weapons in his arsenal to keep improving— a strong backing band, time, and money— but in the meantime, there’s still room for him to grow. There’s definitely no lack of effort, and Duchovny obviously loves what he’s doing, so it should be very interesting to see what his future releases sound like.