DAN REED NETWORK
A taster for Dan Reed Network's new album appeared back in August, in the form of the single, 'Fade to Light'. A solid track, but I commented at the time: "let's hope the other tracks are a notch above this one, and more on a par (or better) with those on 'Fight Another Day'." Solid, like I said, but it was a little below par compared to songs from their 2016 "comeback" album. Well, now I've been able to digest DRN's new full-length offering in its entirety, I can happily report that their new platter of compositions are as strong as those on 'Fight Another Day' - albeit through a mix of nostalgic familiarity and fresh ideas. Either way, it's another winner from Mr. Reed and co. And fans haven't had to wait 25 years for a new work this time around! Actually, this new one, for me, slightly edges it over 'Fight Another Day'.
And, you know what? 'Fade to Light' actually sounds stronger here, as part of the whole, rather than isolated for a single. It acts as a nice opener to the album. Revving up the DRN engine before DRS kicks in on 'Ritual' (... sorry, F1 reference there); an engine that stays in top gear throughout, be it on mid to up-tempo numbers like the delightfully funked up synth rocker, 'Forgot to Make Her Mine', right through to slower tempo numbers like 'Let It Go'.
Of course, there's the added dimension of familiarity to proceedings, beyond the opening single, as DRN have opted to reimagine some of their prior hits and perennial fan favourites - including the aforementioned trio of tracks. These new versions sound fantastic. And, dare I say, timeless; propelled as they have been into the new century with renewed vigour.
There's an indubitable commercial bias to much of the music, but we're not talking throwaway, ephemeral surface extemporaneity, designed to provide a quick hit of sonic satisfaction. Not at all; far from it, in fact. There's much depth to be heard and experienced here, both in skilfully layered instrumentations and an emotional profundity in its delivery. That goes for both the new compositions and those that've been resurrected and reworked. Reed was also evidently on fine form in the studio, once again, with his vocal performance - his smooth-toned delivery is pure sonic euphony.
Boasting the majority of their original lineup - Reed himself on vocals and guitar; fellow guitarist Brion James; bassist Melvin Brannon II; and sticksman Dan Pred; plus 2015 newcomer, Rob Daiker, on keys - DRN have continued their musical journey on 'Origins' with integrity and authenticity; both providing a nostalgic kick and continuing to prove their worth as a band in the twenty first century. The album might be a tad short at just over 38 minutes in length, but there's zero filler. It's all top-notch stuff in terms of composition, reimaginings, execution and production. And it's all way too melodically addictive. I keep going back for more. Fantastic stuff here, folks.
Zero One Entertainment
Review by Mark Holmes
23rd November 2018
1) Fade to Light
3) Right in Front of Me
4) Forgot to Make Her Mine
6) Let It Go
7) One Last Time
8) Rainbow Child
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"DRN have continued their musical journey on 'Origins' with integrity and authenticity; both providing a nostalgic kick and continuing to prove their worth as a band in the twenty first century."