Daniel Joseph sounds like Texas. His new self-titled album features songs with twinges of country swirled into classic bar rock. The music rides on simple, no-BS melodies, and gives you the feeling that Joseph rides alone–as a lone star, perhaps.
For the first half of the album, Joseph is backed by a band. On the second half, he offers acoustic versions of the same songs, showing that he can hang as a soulful singer songwriter as well. Then it’s easier to hear the subtle changes, the way his vocal melodies ribbon in and out of the chord progressions that show the care that went into crafting each song. In this way, the album is perfect for blasting on the open road, or quietly at home in the evening.
Some artists self title their albums because they can’t think of a good one. For Joseph, no other title could fit so well. The album is a memoir, a collection of his musical influences from birth to present, and what he’s learned by being a lifelong musician in the world. A lot has happened in the meantime. Joseph grew up in Texas, and started making music with his uncle and mother as young as five. He played in the bands Element and Modern Day Relief, popular on the local Fort Worth bar and club scene.
As he says, “The kind of music I’m making today was a part of me long before I started Element,” referencing John Mellencamp and Tom Petty. Mellencamp comes through more obviously than Petty. Rather than storytelling in his songs, Joseph carries in each song a specific lesson. It’s easy to imagine he’s a father telling his son about the life lessons that he’s learned, what’s made him a man. He sings of the beauty of patience, becoming one’s own hero, and living in the now. That’s where the influences end. Listen to the album–it’s all Joseph, a collection of who he is in song.
Review By Anney E. J. Ryan[Rating: 2/5]