Below is the review, by Pieter Wijnstekers of Dutch mag Heaven, of Year Of The Dog. Translated by Petra Heemskerk.
Year Of The Dog is the third album from Brisbane, Australia based singer-songwriter Phil Smith and the album cover (a moody black / white photo of Smith against a black background) is as bare and honest as the music he presents to us. Or perhaps not because, although the basis of Smith’s beautiful songs are shaped by his voice and guitar, as well as banjo, they are usually subtly further coloured in by piano, violin, mandolin, pedal steel, cello and harmonica. It lends the album a wonderful folky atmosphere that, along with Smith’s beautiful voice, is reminiscent of comparable troubadours like Neil Young, Nick Drake or Ryan Adams, all three artists whose quality Smith approaches here. All this makes The Year Of The Dog an album that is as timeless as it is touchingly classic. One that perhaps will be overshadowed by albums that are more self congratulatory, but that will ultimately last at least a lifetime. 8.5/10.