Dan Reed Network Let’s Hear It For The King

Dan Reed Network Let’s Hear It For The King

Dan Reed Network Let’s Hear It For The King a wonderful album that will satisfy existing DRN fans but, with wider exposure would recruit many new ones to their always fascinating, always entertaining blend of rock.

Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful album that will satisfy existing DRN fans but, with wider exposure would recruit many new ones to their always fascinating, always entertaining blend of rock.

The Dan Reed Network began their career in Portland, Oregon and, if Grimm is anything to go by, then at least three of them are Wesen! (If you haven’t seen that TV series you will think, quite rightly, that I am certifiable, but I’m convinced Dan would make a great Blutbad). From 1984 until they released their debut album in 1987, they plied their trade in the clubs in their home state and began honing their blended style of rock, funk and soul. They released their first single, Ritual, which brought them a much wider audience and recognition from the music press. They also opened for Bon Jovi’ in 1989 and the Rolling Stones in 1990. Their star continued to rise, particularly here in the UK and, in my opinion, they were the catalyst that brought ‘funk rock’ to a wider audience and really stamped their authority all over it…despite others attempts to get the funk out!

We reviewed their last opus in 2018, Origins, which was a surprise, but a pleasant one…as I said then, “a band at home with funk-infused with soul, gently wrapping around a core that is solid, yet subtle rock. Every one of the songs will get your foot tapping and many will bring a smile to your face…it is just a totally enjoyable album that I will use to lighten the heavier rock playlists on my iPod. I am uncertain how some DRN fans will react, but I think it is one their finest…ever.”

Well now we have a new one to enjoy called Let’s Hear It For The King which Dan reckons is “the heaviest, funkiest and most melodic DRN album to date. These songs are the strongest representation of the band’s sound that we’ve ever created. You have been warned!”

As always, Dan’s vocal traverses emotions and is soulful but with a bite when needed. His lyrics are also as intelligent as ever as he ranges from the divisions that are in danger of tearing countries apart, through social media pitfalls to religion and all points in between… and, to repeat myself, it is one of their finest…ever!
Pretty Karma starts the party with a layered pop/rock song with attitude: a heavy riff gives way to melodic vocals and an infectious chorus and a biting spoken commentary takes to a satisfying conclusion. The Ghost Inside has another great riff that makes way for the verse with yet more incisive lyrics. A song that is immediate but needs repeated listens to pick up on all of the clever levels…listen to the brilliant bass for example. Starlight gives a (purposeful) nod to AC/DC with hints of the ingenuity of Prince in the vocal melody. The genius of the stuttering guitar and the bridge herald the first real guitar solo…and it’s a corker. Supernova harks back to the funk-filled, rocking past but with an up-to-date edginess and is classic, quality DRN.

The title track, Let’s Hear It For The King, is a slice of very clever rock of many varieties that are faultlessly stitched together (rock, funk, pop and even a hint of prog all appear) as well as serious lyrical bite. The next track, I See Angels, is a bit of a surprise as it is DRN’s version of an AOR ballad…complete with keyboard embellishments and a very good guitar solo(although very short)…still a good ‘un. Homegrown wakes us from the drifting the last song induced with, after the voice-over, brings melodic rocky funk back to the fore. The female vocal fed through a keyboard is a little distracting at first, but the song has enough power to ride that minor niggle. Stumble turns the funk factor up a notch as we get clever and humour mixed into the lyrics and the riff.

Just Might Get It is a slow-rolling bluesy funk that works so well. Where’s The Revolution is Prince-y funk and contours an image for me of Dan, The Purple One and Robert Palmer joining forces…now that is a lineup worth hearing! Are You Ready is subtle heavy rock with a great drum and bass, err…base, neat guitar and vocal melody and a chorus ready for us to join in. Unfuck My World may contain the expletive, but the message is poignant and wrapped in eastern sounds and blues and funk and rock…and it all gels brilliantly.

The final track, Last Day On Saturn, may suggest that the search for extraterrestrial life is ignoring the destruction of earthly dwellers…but it is couched in more blended rock, blues, gospel and soul and is superb closer as well as lyrically valid.

This album will satisfy existing DRN fans but, with wider exposure would recruit many new ones to their always fascinating, always entertaining blend of rock.

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Dan Reed Network Let’s Hear It For The King

Track listing:
Pretty Karma
The Ghost Inside
Starlight
Supernova
Let’s Hear It For The King
I See Angels
Homegrown
Stumble
Just Might Get It
Where’s The Revolution
Are You Ready
Unfuck My World
Last Day On Saturn


Musicians:
Dan Reed: Vocal, Guitar, Synths
Brion James: Guitar, Vocal, Synths, Orchestration
Melvin Brannon II: Bass, Vocal
Dan Pred: Drums, Percussion
Rob Daiker: Keyboards, Vocal, Guitar

Production Credits
Recorded at The Commune Studio. Portland, Oregon. USA
Produced by: Rob Daiker & Dan Reed
Co-producer on ‘Let’s Hear It For The King’ & ‘I See Angels’: Brion James
Mixed by: Rob Daiker
Mastered by: Stephan Hawkes
Art & Design by: Graeme Bell

Let’s Hear It From The King is available as a limited edition box set, limited edition coloured vinyl as well as standard versions. Dan has even created personalised, hand-written lyric sheets for each song that will be randomly placed inside the limited-edition box sets.

They also have a tour scheduled for August: Tickets are available HERE

Connect with Dan Reed Network across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

(iTunes took me through the last DRN album, Origins, and then alighted on the delicious, delightful and bluesy Dana Fuchs and her most recent album Borrowed Time and then the equally as lovely Love Lives On recording from 2018 and then the one that started it all, Love To Beg.)

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