Danny And The Champions Of The World’s third studio release Hearts and Arrows dropped earlier this year. It would be difficult to talk about this album without mentioning the overwhelming parity to early Bruce Springsteen sounds, the driven, forceful optimism with anthemic and punchy choruses.
Three songs into the album you are still riding the tailcoats of a classic American rock sound. Soul in the City reeks of Born in the USA. So much so that it makes the album seem out of place with contemporary releases. Standing out in a crowd can be advantageous but in this case I feel it is just confusing and dated.
Brothers in the Night features a saxophone accompaniment which was a staple of Springsteen’s sound with the recently deceased Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist for The E Street Band. Taking inspiration from other artists is a perfectly natural thing for musicians but it’s being able to distinguish your own sound with that inspiration which is the real skill and testament to an artist’s musicianship. Track You Don’t Know (My Heart Is In The Right Place) is frighteningly similar to Rick Springfield’s 80s classic Jessie’s Girl.
When you listen to the album and try to forget the influences and familiarity of sound it is quite a good album. The songs are entertaining and there is a level of storytelling within the music.
My one problem with the album is that I cannot distinguish if I like it because of my love of Bruce Springsteen and classic American rock or because I actually like the album as a single entity. Overall it is a decent album from Danny And The Champions Of The World, hopefully with the next album we will hear more of you than artists of music past.