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On disc: Dan Reed

Coming Up For Air - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Coming Up For Air

Coming Up For Air
(Zero One / AOR Heaven - 2010)

Dan Reed most will remember from Dan Reed Network and their late 80's / early 90's releases. Songs like Ritual and Tiger In A Dress were got a lot airplay, then in 1990 he founded his own label to support artists from his hometown Portland (Oregon). Later he signed in for drama school, started writing scripts and played in some movies. He also lived in India for a year - amongst monks - and later spent a year in Jerusalem. Now he's back in the states, living in NYC. Even as he released some songs via his website, his work went under the radar mostly. Now he has a new album recorded, Coming Up For Air shows the P-Town boy differently. These days Dan Reed is offering acoustic guitar and vocals - partly spiced up. And it's obvious that this album is written by a more mature person, a worldly wise person who learn to look at the world differently.
The title track is the opener, a balladesque rock song with a symphonic edge. The rocker Closer is catchy one which is somehow close to a stripped down Dan Reed Network tune.

A melancholy tune is On Your Side, a song he wrote while still living among monks. A 'real' rocker is Middle Of Nowhere, a song classic rock / AOR fans should dig. A beautiful one is Sacred Ground, just enchanting. A song like Reach For The Sun will win you over immediately while e.g. Candlelight needs a few spins to grow on you. Dan Reed is interested in politics and supports Barack Obama, he also is also active at the Board For The Middle East Peace Civic Forums, so some of his songs carry a message. But he never starts preaching! Check out Promised Land and you'll know what I'm talking about.
The Dictator features sequences of a speech, but due to the music it's get even more intense. The lyrics mix words of Dan Reed and Charlie Chaplin - like the video combines images of Chaplin (taken from The Great Dictator), Reed, war and people and places from every corner of the world. This track is a masterpiece! Watch it!

Dan Reed already play acoustic shows on his own and with a band, and he'll soon be playing live again. But also plans to release another album. So, if you like acoustic rock, ballads and great vocals, then check out Coming Up For Air!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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