DANIEL ANDERSSON – Days In L.A. (2012)
All true Westcoast and AOR fans are already aware of State Cows, the Swedish band who brought back the classy sounds of the genre with their debut a couple years ago.
Founder member DANIEL ANDERSSON released his own CD “Days In L.A.” shortly before only in Scandinavia and in limited quantities. Now is available worldwide and with the addition of a new track as bonus.
Daniel has studied music in Los Angeles where he met and played with Jason Scheff (Chicago) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets). Back in Sweden he started to record what would become this CD.
What’s very strong about “Days In L.A.” is the mix of styles cleverly assembled and superbly played. Andersson takes you on a ride that passes through villages of AOR, Westcoast, Melodic Rock and even a bluesy spice.
If you’re scared to be bored with the same riffs, the same production sound, the same arrangements all over – well, it ain’t gonna happen here.
The opening track “Glamorous Hollywood” really sets the mood and when the keyboard solo towards the middle of the song starts I find myself already falling in love with the album. This track reminds me a lot of Bill LaBounty and Robbie Dupree.
Then comes “Lift Me Up”, which is a Summer smelling melodic rock tune in a Richard Marx meets Venice style. The vocals are clear and pristine backed by strong guitar playing.
On the midtempo “In My Mind” the keyboards take a central role drawing a marvelous melody, while follower “The Dealmaker” is a classic uptempo Westcoast in a Chicago / Toto vein.
I enthusiastically applaud the mix of styles on this CD, all done perfectly, but if you want to listen a track that clearly represents Daniel Andersson and his all-Swede league of magic musicians, then pick “Easy Street Shuffle”. This is pure gold, plenty of smooth intrumentation, amazing melodies and terrific arrangements.
The excellence continues with the superb rhythms of the Bill Champlin-like “Keep On Trying”, the early Kenny Loggins melodius “Tell Me” and the breezy harmonies in the ballad “Everytime You Come Around”.
“I Can’t Stand It Any Longer” mixes classy L.A. sounds with pulsating Melodic Rock nuances (another high point on this super CD) delivering a first class guitar parts, while the new track “Cafe Des Arts” goes back thirty years to a classic smooth Westcoast much in the vein of his band State Cows.
Great playing and fantastic songwriting is the simplest and best way to describe this future classic, not only in the AOR / Westcoast genres, but also in the Melodic Rock field.
Daniel Andersson and these Swedish guys (including his partner in State Cows Stefan Olofsson who also plays here) are the future of the genre, they have the class and the skills of the great names from L.A. scene.
As if all that was not enough, the outstanding production in “Days In L.A.” was handled by Andersson as well. He’s managed to find a full blooded sound from a small budget – it’s close to a miracle. You will easily be fooled into believing this is a major label production, that’s how good it is.
I dare to say that “Days In L.A.” is a Must Have album in your collection, and as said, a future AOR / Westcoast Classic.
A Must Have.
01 – Glamorous Hollywood
02 – Lift Me Up
03 – In My Mind
04 – The Dealmaker
05 – Easy Street Shuffle
06 – Keep On Trying
07 – Tell Me
08 – Everytime You Come Around
09 – I Can’t Stand It Any Longer
10 – Cafe Des Arts (Bonus Track)
Daniel Andersson (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Stefan Olofsson (keyboards, Fender Rhodes)
Fredrik Lundgren (guitar)
Peter Holmqvist (guitar)
Mikael Sandstrom (guitar)
Stefan Forsberg (keyboards)
Mikael Emsing, Paulo Murga (drums)
Paulo Murga, Mikael Emsing (percussion)
Per Wretling, Anders Jonsson (horns)
Olle Nigeus, Peter Nygren (sax)
Christian Thomsen (background vocals)
BUY IT !