Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review Number Tres: Donavon Frankenreiter, Glow

This review may have never been published. It is definitely not online and I was out of town the day it may have ran in the print section. My EDITORS did not like it, possibly because it is mean:

The way that music reviews work here at the ol’ badger-herald is simple. Our editors read out a bunch of album titles, and we (the writers) raise our hands and pick the ones we want to review. There wasn’t anything that particularly piqued my interest this week so I raised my hand and accepted the assignment of reviewing Donavon Frankenreiter’s latest LP Glow. Since I didn’t know anything about Frankenreiter at this point, I scoured the internet searching for information on this man of mystery. I was a bit perturbed when I saw that Donavon used to be signed to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, simply because if I’m going to listen to an unassuming guy sing unassuming songs with an unassuming acoustic guitar, I’d prefer to just listen to Johnson himself. But I decided to keep an my mind open to Donavon’s message and I’m glad I did because I learned a lot. Here are some of the things I learned:

Donavon Frankenreiter wants to see you glow. Trouble is, he doesn’t know exactly what that means. According the title track, “the more things change, the more they shine.” So it’s possible that Donavon Frankenreiter wants to see you change as much as possible to increase your glow, which is a bit of a confusing sentiment if he’s attempting to be romantic.

Donavon Frankenreiter knows it’s hard to let go (on the fifth track, “Push”). You and he keep breaking up and making up and it’s really getting old. You can’t keep pushing him down like this. You’re not letting him hold your hand and play in your park. But you know what, it’s okay. At the end of the song, nothing has happened. You guys are still just making up to break up. Just like Method Man.

Donavon Frankenreiter wants you to do what the eighth track is called and “Dance like Nobody’s Watching.” I found this to be a particularly admirable, not to mention original, sentiment. Why hasn’t anyone ever put this on a poster, or a facebook profile or something?

Donavon Frankenreiter posits (on the track “Hold On”) that “if everyone lived just like they felt, oh there would be so much love, that hate would just have to melt.” I agree. People should start doing what they want more often. If everyone was doing exactly what they felt like doing, no one would ever get mad at anyone else. (In Frankenreiter’s defense, this may very well be true if you live in Hawaii.)

Donavon Frankenreiter reminds me of the guy with the guitar at the party trying to pick up chicks. Not because he is that guy though. He’s the other guy, the one next door to the popular sleaze, with half the audience, and a quarter of the talent. Jack Johnson’s best songs are either pretty stories (“Taylor”) or detailed, romantic sketches (“Banana pancakes”). The man can get a little boring, but even at his worst, he’s way better than his surfing buddy Frankenreiter who on Glow fails to say something noteworthy lyrically or musically. If the things I learned from Frankenreiter appeal to you, and you’d love to delve in deeper, by all means, run to the nearest record store and pick up Glow immediately. If not, maybe try someone (anyone) else.

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