It has been a couple of months since I reviewed Dan Israel’s 15th studio album ‘Social Media Anxiety Disorder’ (check out the review HERE!). It’s kind of crazy to think about how much things have changed since then so when Dan’s new album ‘Social Distance Anxiety Disorder’ came across my desk, I couldn’t help but get excited. I knew I was going to get something amazing and something comforting so I slipped it into my stereo and hit play.
“Wit’s End” kicks things off and I was knew right away that although everything is different now compared to when I listened to his last album, nothing about Dan Israel has changed or, if it has, it has only gotten better like an aged wine. Calming yet energetic, this song was the perfect starter song for this new album. His open and real lyrics flooded into my house and my heart and, although I had just a meh day, a smile stretched on my face from ear to ear.
Second up was “Bewildered” which brought a very rockin’ vibe to the album. Very Springsteen while still being clearly Dan, this song was an instantly favorite of mine. Driving and light-hearted, there’s something very carefree about this track that made me want to get in my car and drive with no decision. “Bustin’ Out” took that rockin’ vibe and brought it a bit closer to what I know Dan for. Although still absolutely toe tapping, there’s something a bit more retro and more California about this one. Dan showcases an incredible range on his vocals for this track that instantly had the melody stuck in my head. That mixed with the keys being a prominent feature of this song, I couldn’t help but find my mind wandering to a the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down. Although the weather is definitely summery about here, we lack a coast which is a perfect pairing for this song.
“Don’t Think They’ll Say” slows things down a tad but still has an unspoken sense of energy to it. Dan’s voice smoothly slides from note to note with a sense of ease. There’s something almost psychedelic about this track. I can’t tell if it’s the keys or the ooh’s and aah’s during the chorus but, regardless, I loved it. The beat picks up a little bit more for the light-hearted song “Trying For A Long Time” while still keeping with a very calming vibe. I can’t explain it, but as soon as this song kicked in, the smile on my face grew a little bit bigger. This track gives off this odd sense of content. I couldn’t tell if it was the words or the strumming acoustic guitar, regardless, I loved it and this one became an instant favorite of mine.
Although I wanted the tempo to kick up a bit, the album kept with the slower pace as it moved on to “Guess It’s Time/ Everyone” but the rockin’ vibes came back with a vengeance. This track brought Dan’s classic retro sound to the forefront without coming as a shock. It easily split the difference between the opening few tracks and the previous couple of tracks. The ending to this song is a spectacular expolosion of sound. Although chaotic, it’s not too much and I definitely had to go back and listen to the ending a couple of times before moving on to “Little Bit of Your Love”.
“Little Bit Of Your Love” instantly transported me back to California with it’s brightness. Boppy and poppy, this is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head with the first listen but in no way is that a bad thing. The guitar solo about half way through the song comes off as simplistic even though I’m sure it’s not. It’s that kind of brilliant songwriting that keeps Dan Israel at the top of the local scene. Another reason he is such a power when it comes to his music is tracks like “Something For the Pain”. A little moodier, this song is unlike anything else that I’ve heard through the local scene. Dan stays true to himself but clearly likes to experiment with different elements that come and go throughout his music. This ong is a perfect example of this. Although this is my second album by Dan to review, he never ceases to surprise me with some of the styling and moods to brings into the mix. Even with all of the differences and surprises, each song is so clearly Dan’s making him, to put it frankly, a musical genius.
Closing out this quick album is “Vision In My Dream” whih takes the upbeat and moody theme of “Something For the Pain” and turns it around to something slower, more subdued, and still just as passionate. Although this is the last song on the album and one of the slower tracks (which isn’t usually my thing) it was another favorite of mine. You get to see a sensitive side of Dan that is absolutely beautiful. Even though he’s a brilliant musician, this track showcases the genius behind his words and how he conveys said words. Absolutely stunning.
Things are completely different than they were back in October when I first reviewed one of Dan’s albums. Honestly, the change is unsettling. My entire life has been turned upside down and not in a good way. It’s nice to know that even with all of these changes (some good, but mostly bad), there are musicians like Dan Israel who won’t give up and remain a constant reminder that change can be good and we will all weather this storm together. The sense of comfort I found in this album tonight was a Godsend and I will be going to be with a sense of peace that I haven’t had in awhile. I owe that all to Dan Israel.
My Favorite Track(s): “Bewildered”; “Trying For A Long Time”; “Vision In My Dream”
For Fans Of: Musicians that are always evolving but never straying far from themselves; Hidden elements in music that aren’t noticed until your fourth listen
Dance-ability: 3.3 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right under my feet; Autumn scratched at the back of the couch
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.3 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5
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