Sunday, March 19, 2017

Danny De Munk-Danny (1995)


With all of this good ear candy that's dropping into "The Music Spectrum", you'll need a good workout to stay in good shape! Danny De Munk is Dutch singer and actor who first came to my attention a few months ago at the request of a follower who's attention had been focused on rediscovering rarities from the 90's. To my knowledge, his 1995 album is the only collection of English recordings he's made to date.....and it's quite possibly the only one I'll ever need! Eleven tracks of music bliss—that sums up my thoughts about it in five short words, but stopping at just five wouldn't be nearly enough to show how much I thoroughly enjoyed this 42-minute joyride! Taking in the opening ballad, "Never So High", I got formally introduced to Danny and his distinctively stunning voice.....a voice that I would say is very characteristic of a trademark balladeer, though with the spirit of a pure pop singer (my beloved Belgian phenom Gerard Joling comes to mind when thinking about similar accomplished singers). I took "Never So High", whose simple message is that of two lovers having finally achieved the highest love, to be something of a tease to draw in the easy-listening, adult-contemporary audience of listeners. Because following that, he switches gears big time with the unexpected dance jam, "Save A Little Love"; it's a celebration song with a cheerful kick to it that jump starts the senses! The celebratory vibes are very much alive on a couple of other fun tracks: "Gear Up", a song to a fellow man who's hit the jackpot with getting the lady and telling him to get ready for love in the fast lane, and "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright", which is a feel-gooder that ends much too quickly for my taste (I'm loving the jazzy spurts and the Spanish guitar break here). The latter song is involved of my latest 'Music Surprise Of The Day', as when I'd glanced at some notes tagged to the track listing, I discovered that "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright" was written by fellow Dutch singer Ellert Driessen, another great voice whose pair of solo albums I've previously given the "Music Spectrum" spotlight to. I further saw that Ellert penned Track #5's "Feel So Strong Tonight", which I could put into that celebratory feel-good category as well, thanks to its bouncy pop rhythm and the song's theme of feeling good and carefree and going out for a night on the town. But then there are the ones that make me feel real good: "How Deep Is Your Love?" (not a direct cover of the BEE GEES classic, but an excellent dance/pop jam with its own unique lyrics and an excellent sing-along chorus to boot!); "Wonderful World Beautiful People" (Danny's announcement of 'this is serious music right here' in the beginning is so true!—the funky beat and slight reggae rhythm equates to some serious jammin' while the secondary message of telling how we could all make it to where we live in a paradise where there's no cheating, no scandalizing and no hating is something that seriously needs application in everyone's life); "Don't Say It's Over" (I'm always drawn to these sad and mellow songs about relationships on the verge of breaking up; the completeness of this one in particular—the chords, the words and the backing vocalists adding an extra layer of glimmer and charm—fills me up) and my second 'Music Surprise Of The Day', a respectful cover of "Does Your Heart Still Break?" (first heard this golden song performed by Simon Climie—of CLIMIE FISHER fame—on his golden solo album, "Soul Inspiration"). It's no surprise, however, that Danny conquers the graceful ballad whose title is as simple as a song title can be: "I Love You"; this a perfect one for a soulful balladeer to perform elegantly. Yet perhaps even more elegant is the magical duet Danny performs with a Vera Mann entitled "So Slowly". Instantly captivating are the starry chords, followed by Danny's straining voice and Vera's own alluring chords (I get this theatrical/stage feel from hearing the two of them in unified harmony). Somewhere and some time, I believe, this four-minute gem was and still is a timeless classic:

1. Never So High
2. Save A Little Love
3. So Slowly
4. How Deep Is Your Love?
5. Feel So Strong Tonight
6. I Love You
7. Wonderful World Beautiful People
8. Does Your Heart Still Break?
9. Don't Say It's Over
10. Gear Up
11. Everything's Gonna Be Alright

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