Album Reviews

Dan Mills

Something Good

Artist:     Dan Mills

Album:     Something Good

Label:     Self-Released

Release Date:     07/07/2017

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Americana singer-songwriter Dan Mills grew up in Providence, Rhode Island before moving to Brooklyn to sneak his way into the NYC music scene, and is now based in Cambridge with his wife. In these last few decades, Mills has crafted a vast, prolific library of original songs he’s penned with great detail and storytelling abilities. His latest album, Something Good, offers 12 tracks that show off the best of his talented body of work.

Something Good opens with “Quiet Car,” a rolling outlaw tune with rapid folk rhythms and Mills’ confident, smooth vocals. The title track is next, a soulful 50s rhythm wailing paired with choral harmony and classic swing vibes developing at the chorus. Next, “”Sandy” slows the album down, a light acoustic track describing a girl’s unruly behavior, aided by sparkling guitar a la fellow singer-songwriter Chris Trapper and a bittersweet hook calling to mind Brett Dennen’s quiet pop gems. A few tracks later comes “Lonely When You’re Gone,” uncomplicated production-wise with thumping notes merging with Mills’ soft, buttery vocals singing sweet, simple lines. Later, “Crazy About NY” dances along, an old-timey tune with subtle horns beneath dreamy lyrics about New York’s glory. Next, “Damage Is Done” creeps along with a deep bass line, slinking outlaw rhythms, and dusty, eerie harmonies. Twelve tracks later, Something Good ends with the gorgeous piano ballad, “Hold On.” Here, Mills softens his voice, allowing the nuances of sincerity to leak to the surface. Towards the middle of the track, an expert electric solo is launched before a pleasant harmony kicks in as Mills continues expressing his little love song.

On Something Good, Dan Mills doesn’t just sing songs, he tells stories. He has an admirable ability to weave raw honesty into Americana grooves, creating a captivating combination of confession and sing-alongs. The production is delicious, changing rapidly each track, and Mills voice soars with a smoothness meant to be swooned over. Something Good lives up to its name and then some — more accurately, it is something magical.

–Savannah Davanzo

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