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Friday, February 13, 2009

Review: Dan Crisp - Far From Here

Dan Crisp – Far From Here
2008, Est. 1954 Records

Dan Crisp is a product of Bournemouth, England, following in troubadour singer/songwriter spirit with a distinct pop sensibility. In his career he’s already managed to work with the likes of Malcolm Toft (Beatles engineer), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) and members of both Fairport Convention and The John Martyn Band. Crisp released his full-length CD, Far From Here, in August of 2008 while touring England with Martin Barre. These days he’s touring with a three piece band consisting of himself, Drummer Robin Guy and John O'hara on Piano, Accordion and anything else with keys on it.

Dan Crisp has that hook-laden, pop crooner thing going ala Hootie & The Blowfish or Edwin McCain. If you had told me he came out of the same South Carolina bar scene I would not have been the least surprised. His melodic and pop sensibilities will amaze you on Far From Here. The album opens with Hollywood, a wonderfully melodic tune with intelligent and well thought out lyrics. Crisp proves durable on A Lighter Shade Of Grey. This is an incredibly mature and poignant song, with that same British sense of melody that has fueled some of the greats. I Could Love Someone is a Celtic flavored love song that is a must-hear. The Irish Jig interposed over the traditional style folk/pop arrangement is a bit of genius that doesn’t entirely sound like it’s going to work when it starts, but it does.

Far From Here hit on the rocks just a bit. The instrumentation here is amazing; perhaps the best on the album, but in this particular song the vocal energy just didn’t match what was going on below. Still a great listen, but it sounds a little out of time because of the energy differential. Shine On Me will knock your socks off. It’s a mid-tempo, feel good song with some serious electric violin work. When You Come Back To Me is probably the class of the album. This is a love song the likes of which you find on mix-tapes, dedications, etc. It’s a “second chance” song that you won’t forget. Other highlights include Beautiful & Deadly, Journey’s End and the bluesy A Light That Never Fades. A Light That Never Fades is my second favorite on the album. With the right arrangement could become a major commercial rock anthem (although I suspect I would personally prefer it as presented here).

Dan Crisp has serious long-term commercial potential as a singer and songwriter. The melodic and pop sensibilities he shows on Far From Here are striking. Names like McCartney and Davies spring to mind. This is one of the most enjoyable pop records I’ve come across thus far in 2009, and makes me very much look forward to whatever else Crisp has up his sleeve. Make sure you check out Far From Here. It will be very much worth your time.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Dan Crisp at, where you can purchase a copy of Far From Here.

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