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Profile for Dan MacDonald > Reviews

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Content by Dan MacDonald
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Dan MacDonald "Scared Little Boy" (Windsor, Ontario CANADA)

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Set Yourself On Fire
Set Yourself On Fire
Price: CDN$ 20.00
37 used & new from CDN$ 2.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of this year's best, Nov. 12 2004
This review is from: Set Yourself On Fire (Audio CD)
I had never heard of Stars until this year, and I'm sure glad I did. This album will go down as "the one that saved music for me" in 2004. Although Set Yourself on Fire is reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain, Rilo Kiley, the Cure, Hope Sandoval, New Order, Postal Service and Grandaddy - it maintains its own completely original, gorgeous sound. Conversational lyrics between the male and female lead singers, glittery guitars and electronic pulses make this entire album one of the most interesting and exciting listens in a long time. But words can't do it justice. Go out and buy this one - or at least download a few of the standout tracks and see for yourself. This one is worth the trip to the record store.
Standout tracks include the beautifully sad-but-happy opener "Your Ex-Lover is Dead", the hyper title track "Set Yourself on Fire", the Beth Orton-esque "One More Night" and the final track "Calendar Girl", which contains lyrics so ridiculously exquisite, it's almost hard to wrap your head around the idea that a mere mortal wrote them.
The whole thing is REALLY that good.

Price: CDN$ 13.48
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Lover/Fighter is Promising/Disappointing, Nov. 6 2003
This review is from: Lover/Fighter (Audio CD)
I haven't lost my faith in Hawksley as a songwriter, but I have a gut feeling that his latest effort Lover/Fighter is going to go down as the "iffy album" in his catalogue. The first six tracks contain mere teasers of Hawksley's signature lyrics. Very promising at times, but the overly slick production and repeated (and repeated and repeated) choruses kill any promise his unique and crafty lyrics make. At times, he sounds painfully like U2/Radiohead/Coldplay/Rufus Wainwright - which isn't a bad thing - except, I'm used to a Hawksley Workman who sounds like...Hawksley Workman. He was impossible to fit into a genre before, but there are certain moments (and this hurts me to say) that it sounds like he's been listening to too much John Mayor and Jason Mraz. I don't know if this is some ploy to get mainstream radio play, or a dumbing down tactic to gain a new and wider audience, but the intimacy I had with Hawksley as a listener on his previous albums is just not there with this one. However - tracks 7 - 9 are comforting. By the time the album reaches its (first) finale with the ridiculously magnificent "Autumns Here" I can almost over look any quams I had with the first six tracks. Almost. Not a bad album by any means - there are moments on this album where I want to drop to my knees and thank "the maker of all ears that hear" for Hawksley's ability to say EXACTLY what I was thinking. The hidden tracks are also better than much of the album - very worth it and it's classic Hawksley at his best: Music that sounds like nothing else out there - yet somehow sad jerks like me can still relate. I almost feel dirty and vulgar for even comparing this work to a few of the other above mentioned artists, but any fan of Hawksley will notice that something here smells a little different.
Lover/Fighter - the title speaks for itself - there's definetely a conflict going on.
I just hope it's resolved by the time he releases his next collection.

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