CD REVIEW: Dane Drewis - Rock & Soul
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/17/2010 - 01:33 PM EDT
Artist: Dane Drewis
Album: Rock & Soul
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Funk, Jazz-Funk and Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Santana, Player, Pablo Cruise
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Get LEvel, Speed Bumps, Tattoo
Weakness: Marketability - dated sound & songwritting slye
Singer, songwriting, guitarist Dane Drewis from Sacramento, California releases his debut CD “Rock & Soul” in the Spring 2010. This is his debut release.
Logging in at just over 43 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Friday Night” a smooth moving intro piece that serves up funky beat, up-beat vocal melody from Drewis accompanied by inviting jazz guitar, & pop like instrumentation. Track 2 “Together” shifts gears a bit with more driving rock rhythm, funky guitars, & several hooky time changes. Track 3 “Full of It” could almost pass as a Jason Mraz type song while track 5 “Broken Strings” crosses the line into camp fire Reggae territory. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice a lot of musical variety from Drewis & Co. First his band is pretty much right on queue. His drummer pushes the natural accents well, & his brother Dale delivers solid Bass lines deep within the pocket, & last but not least Dane delivers some rock solid guitar playing. The CD offers a rich melodic vocal foundation, & lush layers of instrumentation. I would classify this music as Poppy, Funk Rock with a classic psychedelic 70’s aftertaste to it.. Besides the standard 3 piece rock delivery you will also notice brief splashes of percussion, piano, & saxophone layered within the music. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing musical influences like Santana, but also providing soothing 70’s vocal melodies reminiscent of classic Hall & Oates, Player, Pablo Cruise, Chilliwack, Orleans, & do I dare say KC & the Sunshine Band. But getting back to Dane – he can hold his own pretty well vocally as well. He clearly takes some ocal risks on the production indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. His vocal abilities work well across the board regardless of what genera he’s in. He seems to cross many musical boundaries successfully. Weather it be R&B, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Reggae Dane seems comfortable within each one. From carefree melodies like "Friday Night" to slower more passionate pieces like “Broken Strings” to songs that let it all hang out like “Get Level”, “The Lick” & “Tattoo” this CD pretty much has it all. I can honestly say "Rock & Soul" doesn’t have a weak moment on it. For me the true brilliance of Dane Drewis shines though on his more romantic love songs like “Speed Bumps, & “Friday Night” trust me when I say the ladies will love him for these songs.
Overall the Musical Production sounds very 1975-ish, & comes across as a being bit dated. In fact if Dane Drewis would have released this music in the mid seventies, he would no doubt have a gold records on the wall. Unfortunately it's 2010.& ultimately the aforementioned affects it’s overall marketability. Broken Strings is a great song but it is clearly too short.
After spending 43 minutes alone with Dan Drewis & Co. it’s hard to find any notable weaknesses. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed. “Rock & Soul” is a blast to listen to. It’s obvious many will find Dane Drewis infectious, & make no bones about it he’s got X-Factor for the females. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue! The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences, Dane Drewis is a musical Triple threat, as he brings to the table his guitar playing virtuoso, his impressive songwriting, & his amazing vocal sex appeal., Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of Dane Drewis & his band are amazing. I guess could go on and on all night about Dane Drewis you simply have got to get your hands on “Rock & Soul” to see what I am talking about. It's a slam-dunk.
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