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Dylan offers up post-mortem views on love and relationships with The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn

"The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn"

Release date: 28 October 2022
8/10
Dylan The Greatest Thing Ill Never Learn Album Artwork
27 October 2022, 15:20 Written by Caitlin Chatterton
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Dylan has made herself comfortable in the niche of dance-along, chick flick pop - but it’s where she diverts from this sound that she truly shines.

Across this debut mixtape, rock’n’roll influences from a childhood with her dad have diluted to give Dylan’s pop a grittier edge. Laced with snarling guitars and powerful drums, they particularly come into their own on “Blisters,” a lament about unrequited love. Although the track’s pop commitments soften the blow, the chorus is still gut-punching in both its sound and its honesty.

Another standout on the record, “Blue,” is similarly mournful despite boasting an anthemic chorus. The slower pace gives Dylan’s lyrics a chance to sink in – something that’s more easily overlooked when the beat picks up. On “Lovestruck,” for instance, the track’s dance floor energy belies its melancholy lyrics, as Dylan charts the difference from “nineteen, naive, smitten when you met me” to “early twenties, empty, broken when you left me.”

There are prophetic tracks as well as the retrospective: “Nothing Lasts Forever” and “The Greatest Thing” see Dylan admit that she can be the bad guy sometimes, struggling with her own commitment issues. “Nothing Lasts Forever” follows on from “Girl Of Your Dreams,” the mixtape’s opening song that echoes the restless, bouncing energy of the earworm “You’re Not Harry Styles.” It’s a recognisable ‘Dylan song’, but the rest of the mixtape reminds you that it isn’t her only arsenal; as well as the brooding catharsis of “Blisters” and “Blue,” “Home Is Where The Heart Is” ends the record on an intimate, acoustic ballad that looks inward. Here, her lyrics aren’t the ‘roasting my ex’ kind of candid but the genuinely heartfelt, armed with little more than an acoustic guitar.

The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn shows off the upbeat, almost frantic pop that Dylan has perfected, with tracks like “Girl Of Your Dreams” destined for the dance floor. It’s when she hits the brakes and examines her feelings more closely, though, that she triumphs.

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