Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel
This is Americana/folk stripped down to its simplest components and is even reflected in the title where Dan Israel simply uses his first name for this self-titled album. Throughout the tone has a world-weary shading to Dan’s vocals that have a rasping edge more Petty than Dylan. This is Dan’s thirteenth studio album. The production is crisp and there are many special guests everything is minimal ensuring the personal singer/songwriter appeal is maintained.
Opening with Winter Is Coming the beat is jaunty as it looks forward almost with dread to the cold of the upcoming season. The fiddle acts as a sharp punctuation to the lyrics plus the lightning of the song with female backing singer adds depth and interest. This is an album that is personal, and the titles of the songs relate to the moods and experiences that shape life. It captures the smiles and tears, joy and hurts and leaves you always with hope. Dan as an album is a Pandora’s Box and does not provide solutions to life’s journey he can only leave you with a heart full of music with feet tapping joy that gives you hope for sunshine tomorrow.
There is an instant listenability of a mainstream hit on the second track in. Be With Me has an energy the growl of his rasping vocals are reminiscent of a cross between Dylan and Petty not as a copy but in the tonal shaping of the lyrics. You are left having listened to Be With Me and the rest of the album that this is an album you will return to. The tracks blend Americana with open catchy melody that just acts as an ear-worm as the tempo and arrangement changes for Can’t Believe It. The guitar opens on You Don’t Love Me Anymore with a country feel and the sadness is there but doesn’t overwhelm as Dan explores those life changing moments where your life will be different from now on. The chronological sense of the next track Moving On gives the slower almost hesitant development of the song an authentic honesty as you step over a new threshold full of trepidation and hopes. With its Country beat Winning At Solitaire with its slide guitar and the title links up to be on your own despite the dance beat of the number. Closing with the haunting tune Now You’re On Your Own there is an acceptance of what life is about now on your own the end of the tunnel of change is reached with the closing number. The album is full of sadness is a retrospective of relationships ending and loneliness. Dan Israel keeps the sunshine peeping out from behind the clouds there is joy and hope in the album from beginning to end.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Winter Is Coming
2. Be With Me
3. Can’t Believe It
4. Two Bright Stars
5. You Don’t Love Me Anymore
6. Moving Day
7. Lonely Too
8. Try and Let You Know
9. Winning At Solitaire
10. Now You’re On Your Own