Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
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A big disappointment
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a Dan Bern fan, I was eager to purchase this CD and ordered it as soon as it came out. I must day, it was not at all what I expected. These songs sound like Elvis Costello's throwaway tracks. The lyrics are flat and poppy (none of the philosophical zingers he's known for) and the arrangments are uninspiring and, at times, manic and nonsensical. Even the lovely "I Need You" loses its charm from overproduction (the acoutstic version I have is MUCH better). I don't know where these 5 star ratings are coming from. They must have heard a different CD than I heard. Coming after the PERFECT "New American Language" this was simply a big disappointment."
This album shows Dan's versatility
David Ledford | Oroville, Ca. | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For diehard fans, at first listen you may scratch your head a bit with this album, as Dan takes a bit of a turn in the road, so to speak. Mostly gone from this offering are the tounge-in-cheek politics and pointed rants that we all love so much, but what we get in it's place is equally rewarding and speaks to his versatility as an artist. His lyrics on this album are more introspective and personal as a whole, and while I did miss Dan's wicked sense of humor here, I was impressed with his deceptively light and breezy depth and his surprisingly strong pop sensibilities. This is not his best album, but it's still better than 99% of the crap out there. The IJBC is tight and backs Dan with really awesome, if understated musicianship. I would recommend this album to anyone really, it probably has the broadest appeal and is more universally accessible than any of his other work. You will like this, and your grandmother probably would too. My real recommendation though, is that if you like Dan Bern, you MUST go see him perform live. It is an experience like no other, and I am constantly amazed that he is not one of the most famous and beloved performers in the world. I have been to literally hundreds of concerts over the years, and have seen many of the greats do their thing, and I would put Dan's live performances that I have been lucky enough to witness right at the very top. As much as I love his albums, there is nothing like just Dan and his acoustic guitar up on a stage. If you are just getting into Dan, I would recommend picking up "New American Language", "Dan Bern" or "Fifty Eggs" before getting this, but once you get reeled in by those and his many EP's, this album becomes essential in rounding out the spectrum of who Dan is musically and fleshes out the true extent of his copious musical powers."
rswayment | San Antonio, TX USA | 07/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dan has been cranking albums and EPs out fast lately (hey, the guy writes songs constantly. Whatdaya gonna do? Not release them? That would be a crime!), but don't worry. There's nothing shoddy about this. It's a beauty all the way through. The stand-out track is Fly Away. At once absurdist and serious, it builds and then comes together perfectly.Dan has the ability to channel other singers when they were at their best and yet still remain very much himself at his best. In the past, he has inhabited Tom Petty (Marylin), Leonard Cohen (Rome), and Bob Dylan (well, there's a few of those). "Fleeting Days", you can hear traces of Bruce Springsteen (Baby, Bye Bye) and even The Eagles (City--which is better than any Eagles since Hotel California). Then of course there is his Graceland song--which is a lot more fun than Paul Simon's (if not completely successful). Pop music, like literature, should reference that which has come before. And Dan shows that there are better ways than sampling to harken back while going forward.On most of the songs, all you hear is the pure Dan Bern sound. Which is getting better all the time. I still want to hear just him and the guitar sometimes. But if you're going to have a band, this is the way to do it.Dan, hurry up and get the next one out!"