No matter what you’re into, chances are good that you’ll find something to like on the debut album from Dan Friese—a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Eugene, OR. The songs on the album range from boot-stompers with radio-play potential to brooding instrumentals. With a strong voice, thoughtful lyrics, and an impressive command of a wide range of songwriting styles Friese manages a proper introduction on ‘Jane Songs’.
The diversity of song styles on the album will keep listeners on their toes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But fans of albums that flow from start to finish might have trouble finding a common thread. One that ties the parts of the project together into a cohesive whole.
Friese’s album plays the way a great collection of short stories reads. Novels get more credit for being great works of literature, but trying to manage the size and scope of a cover to cover narrative can keep the author from focusing on the details. When they work on short stories, they get to dig into the details and get every last element just right. It seems like that is what’s going on with ‘Jane Songs’. No attention is misspent. Each song is painstakingly crafted to be precisely what Friese wants listeners to hear.
On the whole, the album trends toward brooding and introspective. The material is delivered with a casual-cool that suggests Friese is ready to plant a flag, claim some terrain, and be a presence for a good, long while. There are plenty of solid reasons for listeners to invest some time in getting to know Dan Friese.