Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CD of the Day, 4/17/07: Duane Dolieslager-The Opposite of Optimist


It's kind of fitting that I chose today to feature Duane Dolieslager's The Opposite of Optimist as the CD of the Day, as today also marks the release of two Michael Penn releases: one, a best-of, and the other a re-release of 2005's Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947 (our #4 disc of that year) with bonus tracks. Why is it fitting? Because Mr. Dolieslager has managed to put out the nearest approximation to a new Michael Penn album with this disc, and had earlier received raves for his cover of "I Can Tell" from the online-only Penn fan tribute Look What The Fans Drug In.

Optimist opens with "Mad Dash For The Door", the kind of dense yet melodic Revolver-influenced rocker that Penn perfected with "Try" from 1997's Resigned. Following is "Carousel", a brilliant reflective midtempo number that recalls Penn classics like "Out of My Hands" and "Whole Truth". "Like Day & Night" is another uptempo rocker in the vein of "Evenfall" and "On Automatic", as I continue my quest to compare each of these tracks to those of Penn's. Oh, and did I mention "A Long Trail of Enemies" reminds me of "Bunker Hill" crossed with "A Bad Sign"?

Elsewhere, the jaunty, somewhat baroque "Nowhere In Record Setting Time" has a strong Jon Brion/Jason Falkner/Jellyfish influence, while "Nothing's New" is more straightforward pop/rock in the style of The Wallflowers. All in all, an outstanding disc, and have I made it clear that if you like Michael Penn, you'll love this album?

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree! I found the CD after downloading the Penn tribute, and The Opposite of Optimist has rarely left my CD player in the last couple weeks.

Anonymous said...

It is a great CD! Like Day and Night is the best song.

Anonymous said...

this record is really amazing - one of the most melodic, heartfelt and beautiful releases i've heard this year.

Anonymous said...

I found out about Duane Dolieslager from a friend. Since I got his cd i haven not taken it out of my cd player. I hope to meet him sometime, he seems like an amazing person.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the 2-in-1 review. I think I'll have to check out both Michael and Duane.

Charlotte Sometimes said...

I love the Opposite of Optimist!Dolieslager's use of clever, thought-provoking lyrics tied together with an overall heartfelt vibe, make this CD a no-brainer gift for the hip music fan.

Nathan said...

I suppose if one keeps their eyes open- every once in a while they come across something that provides a bit of clarity to everything around them. Duane’s album did this for me. This lyrics seemed to eloquently skim across the surface of experiences most should be able to relate to…..it’s an enjoyable album from start to finish.

Anonymous said...

Great CD. I bought this a month or so ago and it's been a near constant companion ever since.

Anonymous said...

As a former student of the affectionately-known dolie (he was a high school teacher before deciding to fully pursue his career in music) i bought the cd mainly in support of one of my favorite teachers. however, once i got it, i fell in love instantly with this amazing cd. if you dont have this cd go buy it now, seriously you will not regret it one bit.

HomefrontRadio said...

Could be mastered with a little more headroom, (I think the driving 'Fireflies' suffers somewhat by peaking the dynamics about 1/2 way through the track instead of near the end), but on the whole, a great cd, full of catchy, memorable songs.