By Craig Douglas
New West Records
After releasing two surprise albums to ring in 2018, Daniel Romano returns with a third set of songs to ring out this tumultuous year. Three full-length albums in one year (plus nine solo albums over the last 10 years, amongst EPs and other projects) might sound like too many, but this musical shape shifter (seriously, he even looks strikingly different across the varying album covers) has made every single album sound impressively distinct from any of the others.
This time out he mostly channels ’60s folk music (but not like Bob Dylan who he already mimicked on 2017’s Modern Pressure) coming across sounding like a modern James Taylor at times and like The Birds at others. Here on Finally Free, Romano has once again dropped the twang and pedal steel guitar that marked some of his earlier work and embraced soaring melodies alongside beautifully crafted music that isn’t afraid to occasionally go heavier than the listener may be expecting. This prolific artist is even more impressive when you consider that he plays and writes almost all of the music and lyrics on his many diverse albums.
Fans of his previous work will want to tune in to see which way he’s steering the ship this time, and those who may be unfamiliar with his music would do well to check out his entire catalogue to appreciate such a diverse and talented artist.Daniel Romano, Finally Free, New West Records, Record Review