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Reviews: Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Two Bedroom Apartment; and The Riders, Crown City Sessions

Danielle Anderson has a wonderful sense of humor, singing voice, and lyrics.

Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Two Bedroom Apartment
[Youngest Daughter Records (2010)]

Two Bedroom Apartment is an excellent album for a quiet Sunday afternoon, perhaps best enjoyed on headphones, lying on your back in bed with a magazine, and looking up at the ceiling, distracted from the New Yorker’s website on your laptop as you try to remember whether you have anything for lunch tomorrow waiting in your refrigerator. Despite Anderson’s silly stage name, the songs on this record are a sincere and largely serious look at the nebulous time of life after school but before you’re forced to become a fully-fledged adult. Danielle Anderson’s strong voice is accompanied by delicate ukelele plucking, upright bass, accordion, mandolin and more acoustic instruments. Try “Where The Good Ones Go” for pure waltzy bliss. Okay, it’s not all a serious affair. “We Are Hot Dogs” is a song that imagines what it’s like to be a hot dog, at least for the first verse. Then it gets angsty and thoughtful. It’s a fair metaphor for the disc as a whole.

The arrangements are gentle and frequently beautiful, but they never distract from her singing or lyrics, or indeed her personal charm. Highly recommended for fans of lyrics-driven singer songwriter material and acoustic music.

Here’s a video of the title track:

—Jon Patton (Baltimore, MD)

A solid Americana disc full of genre-hopping, violin, and fingerstyle guitar.

The Riders
Crown City Sessions
[2 Screws Loose Records (2010)]

The Riders enlisted the production help of Guy Fletcher, sidekick of Mark Knopfler for the last two and a half decades. The result is Americana with a clean, snappy pop production.

Get past Tom Cusimano’s vocals on the first few seconds of the first track, “Katie May I.” The disc has a solid headbobber in “Storylines,” with Devin Shea’s violin twisting around Cusimano’s fingerstyle guitar, and a solid piece of violin-driven soft rock “Summer Rain.” They dig into jam-band terratory with “The Minute” but show admirable restraint in keeping the track to three and a half minutes.

The group does a decent cover of Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” and their cover of “Ooh La La,” though lacking some teeth, is better than the version by The Young Dubliners from a few years back, though Rod Stewart’s version is still the go-to backup for the original. The Riders are better here when they stick to their own songs.

There’s a lot to like here for fans of musical diversity, and if you’re curious what The Band would have sounded like if Mark Knopfler had been on board, this’ll definitely do it for you. But the end product could have stood on its own without the covers.

—Jon Patton (Baltimore, MD)

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One comment on “Reviews: Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Two Bedroom Apartment; and The Riders, Crown City Sessions

  1. That little video that comes up is really funny. I suppose being bored has an effect on creativity. I gotta have this album. Thanks.

    Reply

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