For individual listening
Just short of 36 minutes, Drugdealer’s Raw Honey is easy listening, kind to the heart and sings with mindful intention. Within 1:30 of the intro track, it’s quite obvious that this album is something special. Someone once said that when you connect with music, you’re not connecting with the musician, you’re connecting with yourself. Michael Collins, better known as your ‘round the clock Drugdealer, writes music for his listeners–not for the sedation of his own musician’s ego. Raw Honey is freeing and fun on the surface, but dense with discovery. It’s hard to point the finger at just what aspect of Drugdealer’s music is so transformative, but there’s this feeling of manifestation seeping into the shimmering melodies and children’s choral voices of the intro track “You’ve Got To Be Kidding.” And yet, we’re just wading in the shallows of this album. There is more to hear and more to experience.
Raw Honey will weave a different narrative for each listener. Notable for the touch of brass here and the hint of staccato piano there, “Lost in My Dream” plays into jazz-rock like a gentle attempt at crossing genres. February 13 single-release “Fools” masters the precise sound with a psychedelic twist, as the guitar feels more freeform evolving as the song clocks in more seconds. With Mac Demarco playing musical engineer on Raw Honey, it’s no surprise “If You Don’t Know Now, You Never Will” relays a distorted surf-pop twang.
Although Raw Honey feels casual and effortless, the album overwhelms itself with genre-borrowing and musical discretion. With a hint of the ’60s lyrical rhythm, “London Nightmare” sounds like a B-side to The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s’ Night. Listening without context, the album sounds like a vintage cut brought out from the dusty archives for a new audience. This being said, the album is neither unoriginal nor formulaic. Raw Honey sounds inspired, both by musical predecessors and intrinsic vision.
With artful intention, Michael Collins molded Raw Honey into a personal experience for every listener. Drugdealer follows a beautiful intention of genuineness in music, and trust, it is felt in every note.