Dan Israel “Social Media Disorder” (Independent, 2019)

His most Pop and Rock release to date, Midwestern artist Dan Israel changes his life and with it his musical style. From the first trumpet blast, it is apparent that this album has diverged from the twelve or so previous and rightly so given that Dan finally quit his day job to write this. His musical career started back in 1993 and this latest album is steeped in the alt-rock of the ’90s.

Moving away from the singer-songwriter guitar music of his past, with full band and horns, Dan Israel works through modern angst with irreverently cheery songs. The opening track, ‘Be My Girl‘ is far from a traditional Americana sound, but speaks immediately of the isolated Minnesota where it was written, where genres like “Adult Contemporary” still exist on the Heartland radio stations.

Experimenting with spoken word content on ‘Just Can’t Take It’, he riffs on the trials of being a musician in a time when critique is so easy, explaining the album title with the lyric “everything is making me crazy”. Israel goes on to softly sing the rallying cry that he “can no longer play that game”. The album is very much about him breaking free from expectation and returning to his roots. Perhaps the sound of the plains has itself been neglected from inclusion in Americana and could be something to tune into more often.

Midwestern minstrel rebels and surprises us all with his roots
6/10

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