Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele – The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
Not much has been made of Dent May, which is quite a shame, as he is the man that fills the void for all those in need of a decent lounge singer to mix with their pop-culture references. He’s part Jens Lekman, part Stephin Merritt. The release of his album, The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, is worthy of your ear, so do the man a favor and tune in.
One of the more original elements in Dent May‘s albums seems to be his reliance upon sun-soaked tunes, lending many to note that he leans towards tropicalia. It’s like he’s gone and mixed all his elementary bar lineage with a trip to somewhere in the Caribbean.
Sure, the use of the ukulele definitely will draw comparisons to the work done on must-have albums like 69 Love Songs, but he’s not simply taking a rip off of his influences. The infusion of various island elements brings an entirely new spin on the genre of uke-pop. Each song has its own personality, which is all you can ask when the origins of the songs stem from such a domineering instrument. He even adds various sound bites throughout to add a little something extra; its his own spin on the genre.
Vocally, you’ll find him walking the line of Merritt and Lekman, which all owes a great debt to lounge singers throughout the history of time. It’s a vocal that contains remnants of soul, but has a heavy influence of showmanship. Mixing these qualities together provides for a uniqueness all his own. Despite similarities to those who visited the land before him, Dent May has a sound all his own.
One thing you can pick out immediately is the songwriting touch, which pays an homage to the obvious influences. Lyrical content reflects his ability to take mundane, trivial even, stories of life and spin them in a fantastical sense that keeps the listener interested. It’s a quality of writing that only few before him truly possess, and we’ll leave those names to historians for the time being. Who wouldn’t love to hear a song about one’s love for Michael Chang?
Rest assured, in the silence times of uke-pop, Dent May has taken over as the king of swinging lounge acts eager to win your heart and your ear. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but dammit if it doesn’t make you want to swing someone around in pure glee.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/02-meet-me-in-the-garden.mp3]
Download: Dent May – Meet Me In The Garden [MP3]