My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Dan Seals – ‘In A Quiet Room II’

In A Quiet Room was so much to the artist’s taste that Dan followed it a couple of years later with a sequel on yet another small independent label, featuring self-produced acoustic versions of most of his remaining hits and a few later non-hits, but no brand new songs.

I loathed the original of ‘L.O.A. (Love On Arrival)’. The acoustic arrangement is certainly more palatable aurally, but it can’t save the irritating, gimmicky lyrics. ‘Three Time Loser’ is significantly improved, and ‘My Old Yellow Car’ is lovely. The idealistic ‘We Are One’ is fine. ‘Wood’ and ‘Still Reelin’ (From Those Rock ‘n Roll Days)’ are very nicely done, but not obviously different from the original.

In most cases, though, I am afraid I actually prefer the originals. His first top 10 hit ‘God Must Be A Cowboy’ was always charming, and this particular remake feels unnecessary. The simple guitar accompaniment works well, but it’s not significantly less cluttered than the original instrumentation, and the vocals sound a little more clipped, even rushed. The same goes for the best song by far, ‘Addicted’.

A fingerpopping slightly jazzy ‘My Baby’s Got Good Timing’ (never a great song to start with) is pleasant but lifeless despite an attempt to enliven it with a saxophone solo. ‘Nights Are Forever Without You’ was England Dan and John Ford Coley’s slightly less successful follow-up to their monster pop hit ‘I’d Really like To See You Again’, and from the pen of the same writer, Parker McGee. It’s delicately sung, with some pretty harmonies from Pam Tillis and Alison Krauss, but ultimately a bit bland and passionless.

This is all pleasant enough, but probably for major fans only.

Grade: C

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