DONNIE VIE – Beautiful Things [Japan Edition +1] (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*
Enuff Z’Nuff is one of the most overlooked acts in Rock history, and their former singer and songwriter, Donnie Vie, was a major part of the band’s incredible history. Now as solo artist, DONNIE VIE is ready to release his new album “Beautiful Things” next June 7th.
However, this “Beautiful Things [Japan Edition +1]” has been released in Japan few days ago, and we are presenting it here in exclusive at 0dayrox.
This is easily the best solo album Donnie Vie has ever recorded, and so far, one of my favorites this year.
The first thing that hit me, apart from the positive vibe flowing from both the music and lyrics – Vie is one of the finest songwriters out there – is the excellent production sound. While good song-wise, Donnie previous solo albums lack that ‘polished gloss’.
“Beautiful Things” sounds fantastic, like that ’80s classic recordings so well taped, mixed and mastered.
Second, the impressive list of musicians, ranging from Mr. Big’s Paul Gilbert and Symphony X bassist Mike LaPond, to keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr (Jellyfish)
And third, of course, Vie’s unique songwriting. Inspired like never before, his songs in “Beautiful Things” are pure gold.
It’s an album packed with melody, emotion and an impeccable sense of harmonies, evidenced already in the opening title track. From here, the album provides a good mix of rockers, ballads and moods, all deeply flavored by that unique ingredient, known as ‘The Donnie Spice’.
This rare, unique spice is what gives the album its edge and takes it that last final step from greatness onto the plateau of magnificence.
I could just say I love this album. Because I do, I love this album probably more than I’ve loved a Donnie Vie solo album before, and whilst I’m the first to admit the man has created some wonders over the years this seems to be the distillation of all that has come before.
At times you feel like smiling and jumping into the air with delight and at others you feel like shedding a tear as you hear the most beautiful melodies that you know in your heart could have made the world a better pace if only more had has a chance to listen.
Things start wonderfully with ‘Beautiful Things’ and its cascade against the speakers, and you are lifted up by soothing melodies and dream-infused vocals. It’s a helluva spot to start a journey before ‘Plain Jane’ takes the tempo up and comes across like vintage Enuff Z’Nuff, as it swims in seas of wonderful backing melodies, like laying on your back drifting in a warm pool watching lazy white clouds drift overhead.
After that introduction ‘Breaking Me Down’ starts with a jangly guitar and has a Spanish tempo before taking off into melodies that fly as the guitar thrusts and we fall back into a simple verse that builds and glows and shines as we soar into the chorus.
‘I Could save the World’ is typical Vie, as he croons and tells tales of days gone by. The melodies are so sweet you’d swear that they’d been spun from sugar and even AC/DC get a name-check. It’s close to perfection.
‘Fly’ gives you a little breather, it’s a gentle piano ballad, just you, Donnie and the piano underscored with some gentle soothing strings that allow you to drift into the song. It’s the sort of stripped back simplicity that Vie does so well and perfectly placed in the running order.
By way of contrast ‘Tender Lights’ twists the volume dial a little, nudging it into the perfect ‘wake-up song’ territory where the vocals hit that blue sky chorus and you’re lifted up again.
Remarkably it doesn’t waver for a second: ‘I’ll Surrender’ is Vie at his best, mid-tempo, lilting, melodic and irresistible; whilst for our ante-penultimate delight Donnie serves us ‘Whatever’ which takes us in a different direction altogether with a light breezy strummed power pop breeze through Donnie’s career, almost his own take on ‘C’est La Vie.’ That leaves us with just two.
‘Fallin’ Through The Pages’ is a real joy, a light mid-paced sing-along stomp that’s as well-realized as anything here, and like all of the best of Vie’s songs seems instantly familiar.
The final word though goes to ‘Back From the Blue’ a second piano ballad that builds into a summer sky song of hope and warmth. It’s Vie at his very best and most connected and it’s simply beautiful.
Japanese bonus track is a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Instant Karma’, Donnie’s biggest inspiration, and he does a lovely version, organic and honest.
“Beautiful Things” is a stunning piece of art. This collection of songs is a wonderful addition to the legacy Vie has constructed over the last four decades, but not just that, these are songs we’ll remember for years to come.
These are songs to keep in your heart and let out when you need to get back from the blue.
Only at 0dayrox
Avalon / Marquee ～ 【MICP-11478】
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01. Beautiful Things
02. Plain Jane
03. Breaking Me Down
04. I Could Save The World
06. Tender Lights
07. I’ll Surrender
09. Fallin’ Through The Pages
10. Back To The Blue
11. Instant Karma [Japan Bonus Track]
Donnie Vie – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Paul Gilbert, Johnny Monaco, Jay O’Rourke – guitar
Roger Joseph Manning Jr – keyboards, strings and things
Casey McDonough – acoustic guitar, bass
Matt Walker, Ed Breckenfeld – drums
Alton Smith – piano
Baz Francis, Phil Angotti, Jay Goeppner – backing vocals
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