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Artist: Dan Craig
Label: Indie
Length: 12 tracks/53:56

My friends will tell you. I am no fun to be around when I am reviewing an album. It becomes the only music I listen to and the only thing I want to talk about. I love it--well, not always. Sometimes it kind of drives me crazy. Such is the case with Dan Craig's Wirebird.

It is hard for me to put a finger on what is most bothersome about this album.

Don't get me wrong--there is a lot to like on Craig's second release. He shows a real gift of melody and arrangement through out the album. The ensemble stuff works pretty well on most levels. There's a kind of nice John Mayer/Jack Johnson acoustic rhythmic thing going on. Easy to get into singing style and real sounding harmonies. "Waiting on a Waitress" is such with its driving drums and charming Jonathan Richman-like rhythm guitar, then herky-jerks to a slow-nearly spoken break then back to rocking drums.

"Afterglow" is an auspicious opener. Acoustically driven with several neat filling riffs, this one chugs along nicely, spilling out a message loaded with hope and encouragement. "You're not alone / sometimes I don't believe it either / but its been shown / that it's the hurt that makes the healer feel like home."

But Wirebird is a frustrating listen--sentimental mush combined with genuine potential, whiney solo numbers to folk-rocky full band pop hits. It is the groaners in the lyrics-like "the cherry flavored moon" or how he'll "make the sun break through the clouds again" or how sometimes he "doesn't know who he is," or that this "just doesn't feel like home" that could use some artistic restraint. Dan Craig seems to be trying too hard.

Bob Felberg


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