Dan Rodriguez – 25 Years

ALBUM LINK: http://www.danrodriguezmusic.com/25years

Dan Rodriguez impresses yet again with his fifth studio release 25 years. He’s made extraordinary progress since his debut musical release a relatively short time ago and some of his marked commercial successes are along the lines of high profile slots in commercial television ads and numerous live performances with an assortment of acts such as The Civil Wars. Tyrone Wells, and Haley Reinhart, among others. His fifth release 25 Years poises him to enter a new period of his career when he reroutes the early trajectory of his career into something entirely new – a mounting confidence in his songwriting powers that allows him to dive deeper as a writer, musician, and singer into the cuts on an individual basis thus producing a more memorable overall result. This collection is, without reservation, the first moments Rodriguez has yet committed to a recording.

25 Years starts off on a refreshingly confident note. The first song is “25 Years” and the title song has an inexorable, near stately pull that improbably exerts just as much muscle with its stripped back acoustic, percussion, and vocal opening as it does with the full band arrangement that soon assumes control. Rodriguez, likewise, shows a pronounced skill for adapting his voice as the song demands and explores his voice on this track without ever placing his voice badly. It’s an unusually fresh bit of songwriting about, arguably, the most familiar topic of all. “You Feel Like Home” accumulates more and more velocity as it progresses and Rodriguez amps his voice up with each gradual spike in musical intensity. Much like “25 Years”, this song tackles a familiar topic with a new coat of paint that proves Rodriguez’s individuality in a musical vein not well regarded as a safe harbor for individuality. There’s some appropriately down and dirty flashes of lead guitar and light keyboards bringing “Fire” to full blaze and Rodriguez gives a relaxed, yet strong, vocal that complements the song quite well.

“You’re Not Anybody” subverts expectations some with its lack of a standard or formulaic chorus. It’s a testament to his skills as both a songwriter and performer that, despite a lack of this classic pay off moment, Rodriguez’s song doesn’t miss any of the drama we associate as customary with such moments. “Hero”, at least superficially, seems constructed along the same lines as the EP’s first two songs, but the orchestrated qualities are much more clearly defined and the song soon shows its anthemic colors. Taken as an anthem, “Hero” ends up working brilliantly and rates among the best performances on this release. “Until the End” gives listeners a final mild surprise as Rodriguez banishes the electrified instruments and assertive drumming in favor of just his voice and an acoustic guitar. It’s a low key conclusion to an EP that’s far from low key, but it closes 25 Years with the sort of artistry we’ve come to expect from Dan Rodriguez.

Photo Credit:  Lucas Botz Photography

YOU TUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYSRbDKZHsw

Alonzo Evans