Dan Bodan - Soft - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dan Bodan - Soft

by Justin Pearson Rating:6 Release Date:2014-10-27

One thing's for sure - Berlin-based Dan Bodan's debut album Soft is aptly named. It's a plush bed of velvet that's suffused with warmth and envelops the listener in its blanket of R&B-tinged romantic leanings.

For the most part, it feels inspired and stays on course, but at times the direction isn't as sure-footed as it has the potential to be. The undercurrent of sentiment is almost too heavy and when it rears its head, it threatens to break the delicate shell of sound that surrounds every track.

Beginning track 'A Soft Openining' is beautifully unique with its acoustic guitar and bass bleeps. It's a good example of what the rest of the album could have been had he focused more on this nice interplay of gorgeous noise and vocal stylings which give sensual life to lyrics like "Touch my lips and then unfurl."

'Anonymous' is swathed in city lights and the night-time space one craves when taking a contemplative walk down the sidewalk. He sings, "In faded hues of pixel light/ I scan the cash/ I pass the night". It perfectly aligns the feeling of needing to be alone, get out and think with the final purge you experience when the song reaches its end.

His vocals on 'Reload' are right in line with 90s crooner Terence Trent D'arby, and it's a good example of what he's capable of stylistically, but he never quite gets there. The drum 'n' bass snippets season the music adequately in a song about starting over, so it's not as dull as it could have been.

He takes Billie Holiday's 'For Heaven's Sake' and gives it his own touch, but it lacks the gentle lilt that buoyed the original and subsequently falls a little flat. The effort is to be admired I guess, even if it's a slightly boring one.

"I don't trust you anymore" leads the chorus on 'Jaws of Life'; another indication of the conflict hidden underneath this album, with its relationsip concerns. It's definitely one of the better moments, though, as it strikes a nice balance between 'song' and 'writer' instead of teeter-tottering both until they're uneven.

It's clear Dan Bodan is a songwriter of depth and talent, he just needs to find his sweet-spot. If he sticks to a clearer vision the next time around it will most likely be something worth waiting for, considering the potential he's shown us here.

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