MOXY Review: Adventures in Real Time


Emily Wilkinson, Asst. Editor-in-Chief, Web Editor

Adventures in Real Time

Dylan Gardner


3 out of 5

As a fresh, young face to the indie pop scene, 18-year-old Dylan Gardner has all the makings to become the next hipster poster boy. Gardner’s debut album, Adventures in Real Time, has the sound, attitude and aesthetic of a force to be reckoned with in the alternative music crowd.

Adventures starts off with “Let’s Get Started,” a poppy anthem with a contagious beat and Splenda-sweet vocals. Although Gardner writes all his own music, the lyrics are unfortunately weak. The rhyme schemes are simple, and feel repetitive and trite after the first verse.

“Too Afraid To Love You” grabs the listener with a more unique feel than the previous songs on the record. The chorus is catchy, and I found myself singing along by the second verse of my first listen. The bassline is a nice touch as well.

“The Actor” is a more soft spoken number, and is a breath-taking display of Gardner’s talent. Stripped down to an acoustic guitar, piano and strings, “The Actor” is a complete 180 from the louder, more pop-based tracks on the album, and wows the senses. By far the best song on the record. The subtle orchestra on this track as well as others like “Invincible” add a nice ambience to the entire record.

“With a Kiss” is a fun, dance number that gives off a school dance vibe. Once again, and I have to give Gardner credit for this, the song is incredibly catchy. The beat is contagious. Not enough to bust out in random dancing, but enough to bob my head, or at least tap my foot in time to the rhythm.

As a whole, Adventures in Real Time comes close, but lacks any edge to push it over the top to alternative glory, which is most likely the reason why most fans of the genre have never heard of the record or artist. Gardner is young, however, and these are only baby steps toward much greater works in his career. He definitely has “the look,” as they say in the entertainment industry, but Gardner needs to push more boundaries to find himself in anywhere other than indie pop obscurity.

Gardner is obviously talented for an artist his age, and Adventures in Real Time is a brilliant showcase of this, but falls short in impressing most listeners any further than the age factor.