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Daniel Simonis

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4

Artist: Daniel Simonis
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: January 2000

Review by LarryG
3½ stars out of 4

Daniel Simonis' self titled CD is worth seeking out (artist and ordering info). It's very reminiscent of Chris Isaak's work. Both are cool urban guys and fans of Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley who make music with a classic, timeless quality. Daniel Simonis is especially comparable to Isaak's great debut record, the moody, austere Silvertone.

The CD has a number of appealingly restrained western rockers. Austere organ and guitars add to the seductive effect of Simonis' vocals on Chasing Down The Sun. He tries to convince a woman to forget about a life and boyfriend that don't give her what she's looking for and go for a ride for him. Simonis has Lloyd Cole's hip effortlessness on Long Way Down. He's more wistful than mocking, telling a fading star that his new friends are bound to abandon him as his fame ebbs. Like Isaak, Simonis seems so self assured that it's hard to totally believe his songs about being mistreated by women. They both probably know that melancholy suits them. Didn't Commit, about being falsely accused by his girlfriend, is a likably light rocker, given edge by Simonis' moody vocals. Simonis is especially cool on the bluesy rocker Get To You, trying to resist the advances of a now married woman he's thought about for years. Amid all the dreamlike sounds, Another Friend, Simonis' dismissal of an ex-girlfriend's request to still be friends, is a fun, frothy Buddy Holly style rocker.

The songs are often pretty slight and not particularly exciting or original but Simonis' cool voice and the minimal, atmospheric production gives them extra heft. The guitar playing, mostly by Eric Schermerhorn, is unshowy and adds nicely to the record's moody, evocative sound. Sometimes, Simonis is a little too low key as if he's posing and more concerned in seeming cool than giving his all. But Simonis is cool and his persona, of a contemporary throwback to a western hero is well presented by his smooth vocals. It's not a bad thing that Daniel Simonis sounds a lot like Chris Isaak. Isaak got there first but Simonis doesn't seem imitative. They're both laconic types who can create a very comfortable feel.



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