Zero One Music [Release date 18.02.13]
Let’s get one thing clear. Don’t expect another ‘Tiger In A Dress’ and start thinking semi-acoustically. Dan Reed’s previous album, 2010′s ‘Coming Up For Air’, dispensed with the funk metal of his late-eighties big hair days and reflected where he had travelled – musically and spiritually- over a two decade period.
Like ‘Air’, ‘Signal Fire’ is full of super tunes and continues its themes of love and seeking a better world through positive actions. If times were better, the album would be all over the daytime radio schedules: easy on the ear, highly accessible, and lyrically uplifting. US AOR written all over it.
I interviewed Dan Reed several years back when he was embarking on a comeback UK tour with only an acoustic guitar in hand, but I was impressed the way his earlier band-based songs – and heavy ones at that – easily transformed to a pared-back treatment: the true sign of great songwriting and an inner confidence.
Having dispensed with any ‘Tiger In A Dress’ fixation (and you won’t be alone) this album is awash with good stuff from the urgent opener ‘Signal Fire’, via the early single ‘All I Need Is You’ and ‘Only Love’ to the environmentally/politically-aware ‘Last Leaf’, ‘Soul Warrior’ and ‘Drive On’.
‘Avalanche’ and ‘Indestructible’ provide contrasting standouts, the former more upbeat whilst the latter is darker but provides no less of an impact.
Stylistically the album reminded me a little of the last Mike & The Mechanics album but the songs are better.
‘Signal Fire’ is only a tad more rocky than its predecessor and deploys modern production effects which when grafted to essentially anthemic songs – and a gracious lack of autotune – puts this right out there as one of the best pop/rock albums of its kind, from a true craftsman. *****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Dan Reed UK dates (March 2013)
Tuesday 5 March – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
Wednesday 6 March – Corporation, Sheffield
Friday 8 March – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
Saturday 9 March – Academy 3, Manchester
Sunday 10 March – ABC, Glasgow
Tuesday 12 March – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
Wednesday 13 March – O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
Thursday 14 March – Rock City, Nottingham
Friday 15 March – O2 Academy, Islington
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)
Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)
THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!