Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Donavon Frankenreiter: Move By Yourself

I, like most people, made a huge mistake when Donavon Frankenreiter released his self-titled debut album in 2004. Luckily, I didn’t make the same mistake twice.

Donavon’s first CD was dismissed by most critics and ignored by the general public for obvious reasons - his main claims to fame were being a surfing buddy with Jack Johnson and having a song in a car commercial - not exactly the ways to gain critical acclaim. His second album, Move By Yourself, all but eliminates any comparison to Jack Johnson’s acoustic guitar focused work, instead delving into the world of 70’s funk.

The album opens up with the uber-funky title track, which is clearly one of the strongest tracks Donavon has recorded. Where his first album sounded like a solo effort, this song sets the tone that it’s not just about Donavon anymore - this is a band and these boys can play. The Way It Is follows next, a slowed down funk song more in the style of Marvin Gaye. If you’re expecting a slowed down acoustic song at this point in the album you’ll be sorely disappointed - Beautiful Day is the only track that lands in this genre, so you’ll need to wait for the closer.

The rest of the album basically follows the first two tracks - you’re either going to funk that will make you move or slowed down soul songs. There’s not really a song to skip on this album - the song writing is strong and each song flows into the next very well, especially with the last half of the album. Let It Go, All Around Us and Girl Like You are certainly the highlights outside of the first two tracks. The only song you may be checking your watch on is Fool, a sprawling 6 minute jam that brings Ray Charles to mind.

Move By Yourself is certainly a departure from Donavon’s first album. If you’re looking for more Jack Johnson infused acoustic surfer hymns than you best look to Dispatch - you won’t find it here. This album is all about the funk - very rare in this day and age - and I will say that this is the absolute must-have album of the summer. It’s that good.

Overall rating: 4/5

[mp3] Move By Yourself
[mp3] Let It Go

Visit Donavon's website.
Buy Move By Yourself (Amazon) (iTunes).


Blogger LJ said...

your review will probably result in me picking up donovan's newest album. i wasn't planning on getting it based on the sound of his first album

10:19 AM  

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