Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reviews:: Daniel Ahearn Pray For Me By Name

When I opened the new Daniel Ahearn record - Pray For Me By Name - I looked at the little sticker attached and thought it said, "of Lit." This struck me as odd hype work, as I couldn't imagine anyone seeing that and being swayed. We all love bowling videos, but that's about as for as we go.

Luckily it said of ill Lit, which is a whole different kettle 'o fish. Known for their electro, alt country tracks, I was wondering why Daniel stepped into the spotlight with a solo EP. The answer? Apparently, someone stole his gear so he lost all the recordings of the new material and all he could do was release a few songs that didn't require the textures and layers to survive.

The result is surprisingly enjoyable. Instead of staccato electro pulses and constant shifts (which do make an appearance on the opening number), Ahearn stripped down most of the arrangements and went with a more traditional approach. Strings, acoustic and the occasional smattering of keys or electric pulses form the backbone of the song and let Daniel's voice take center stage. It's a more intimate experience, as evidenced by the confessional Jesus Saves. With only a few notes used for support, Daniel expresses his desire to be a better person; to escape and live in a different world. The same can be said about the lap steel that penetrates the picked acoustic and tender harmonies of San Vicente.

My favorite song on the EP is Whitewashing. When Daniel admits that he "almost married your sister, just so we could be closer" you can't help but relate to his admissions. The heavy strums of his acoustic keep time and let the steel notes bend around the melody as he puts his love on a pedestal (note - he harmonizes with a guy named David Jerkovich which is simply a stellar name). To be completely honest, the sounds you hear on this little EP are pretty familiar when it comes to the alt-country genre, but his sincerity and heart help you really attach yourself to the songs.

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Posted at 11:44 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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