Dan Dyer - Dan Dyer (2009)

Dan Dyer
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Some albums are so beautifully realized that all you can do is weep and be grateful for the privilege. Austin-based musician Dan Dyer delivers a sophomore album of such stunning wisdom and shimmering brilliance that you can hardly believe this guy writes commercial jingles as his day gig. Dyer on his self-titled project is a keys playing singer/songwriter on the levels of Carole King when she birthed Tapestry, Jim Croce on You Don't Mess With Jim or James Taylor at his zenith of Sweet Baby James. Produced with a distressed jam session feel, cuts like "Anne-Marie" has just enough rustic edge to make you feel like you've unearth something from an old-time tavern of swinging bell bottoms, low-down grinding, and bottle-swigged Wild Turkey.  The midnight rock of the Doors flavored "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" and "Who I Am" are haunting tour de forces in voice and composition.

Some albums are so beautifully realized that all you can do is weep and be grateful for the privilege. Austin-based musician Dan Dyer delivers a sophomore album of such stunning wisdom and shimmering brilliance that you can hardly believe this guy writes commercial jingles as his day gig. Dyer on his self-titled project is a keys playing singer/songwriter on the levels of Carole King when she birthed Tapestry, Jim Croce on You Don't Mess With Jim or James Taylor at his zenith of Sweet Baby James. Produced with a distressed jam session feel, cuts like "Anne-Marie" has just enough rustic edge to make you feel like you've unearth something from an old-time tavern of swinging bell bottoms, low-down grinding, and bottle-swigged Wild Turkey.  The midnight rock of the Doors flavored "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" and "Who I Am" are haunting tour de forces in voice and composition. "Love Chain" is a modern work song of gospel and blues so authentic you think Dyer's blues band had turned a country church into a Bayou juke joint. Yearning soul ditties like "Sorry, Baby" could have been penned by Smokey Robinson at the height of his Motown fame. Where the luscious "Stop For A Second" has the cosmopolitan sheen of a Gamble and Huff creation, its hip hop syncopated delivery has such a blue collar vulnerability you just know this uptown crooner's delight was five-finger discounted for the working man. I'd put the plaintive lyricism of Dyer's piano ballad "All" up against any universal inspirational anthem produced in the last 20 years and believe it has a chance to make it near the top of the heap. Can you tell I love this album? Trust me, from his bluesy phrasing to his tenor-baritone's scraped bottom soul, Dyer has the goods to make you love Dan Dyer too. Notable Songs: All of them, seriously.

Vocals: 4 stars
Lyrics: 4 stars
Music: 4 stars
Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By L. Michael Gipson

 
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