In early 2007, David Vandervelde droppped out of music sky, rocking me like the only the bastard son of Marc Bolan could. For me, his first record, Moonstation House Band, was just a revamped T Rex–and for its part, I loved it. I mean can really tire of T Rex?
This time around David Vandervelde is still stuck in that classic rock sound, but this one comes off far away from the likes Marc Bolan. It’s much more subdued, and gone are the chunky guitar riffs that made the last albm so outstanding.
Here we find David hopelessly devoted to the largely acoustic stylings of folk rock. Sure, his voice still holds a little bit of that T. Rex pitch, but musically, he’s chasing the like of Neil Young or The Band. Despite his continuous homage to his influences without taking on a new approach, he still manages to write some incredible songs.
“Someone Like You” is quite possibly the best song he has ever written. Lyrically it throws a look into the life of a struggling musician, one who is trying to cope with his rock n’ roll status, fueled by drugs and excess. Of course, said person dies. It’s a little cliche, but the melodies in this song are simply ridiculous. This song can be played all day long. Similarly, “I Will be Fine” is another great song, and an appropriate beginning to the album. It’s a simple song, but one that sets the tone for the work that is being done on this album. Lyrically, its lacking, but what are you going to do?
I’m not going to lie; I love this guy’s voice. He has quite a range, and it does justice to every single song he writes. He accompanies each melody and harmony the way one can only dream of, but lacking is his writing, lyrics, that is. They appear really simple, and come off a bit cliched. The last album focused more on the sound of the band, as where this one is more sparse, so it opens you up to listening more to the lyrics–and clearly they lack much to be desired.
Overall, this is a good album, just not one that is going to show David Vandervelde breaking new ground. If you love clean classic rock sounds, this one’s for you kids. Excuse me while I go listen to “Someone Like You” for the eleventh time today.