Album review: DAN REED – Liftoff

DAN REED - Liftoff

Zero One Entertainment [Release date 04.12.20]

At the end of a horrific year for humanity, and also for music, Dan Reed’s latest solo album arrives to provide the perfect antidote.

Dan’s solo works since the “comeback” – ‘Coming Up For Air’  in 2010 – have always been introspective and spiritually driven, not in a pseudo-religious way but with a personal doctrine hewn over many years and underscored with hiding out in a Buddhist temple back in the 1990s.

The best way to describe his solo music is serene (and soulful), the opening title track for example will just wash over you, as warming and comforting as a tot of mulled wine in the bleak midwinter.

When chatting to Dan over the past ten years or so, as we tracked his musical renaissance, he says he always aims to write a song that is not necessarily the most direct or obvious about romantic and human relationships.  For example he will use the premise of a relationship but in the context of wider theories of a better world.

This approach unfolds on the song ‘Spaceship Built For Two’ with added vocals courtesy of Emily Lynn and Lara Smiles.  He muses on the “hate and hurt” of planet earth and the need for a new start whilst ‘Back To Earth’ can again be enjoyed on a fairly superficial level although hiding something deeper.  The use of spoken word additions reinforces this.

Among the other standouts there’s  ‘Butterfly’ whilst ‘Shed My Skin’ is a co-write with Chic keyboard player Richard Hilton.

‘Liftoff’ is such a contrast to his work with Dan Reed Network and would be a staple of daytime music radio if the suits would allow it.

Dan Reed has been musically reborn in the millennium and he has demonstrated consistently that great song craft and musicianship remains timeless and still relevant. Uplifting and utterly absorbing.  ****

Review by David Randall

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