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Derek Fawcett - Feel Better (2014)
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Derek Fawcett - Feel Better (2014)

14-10-2014, 11:42
Music | Pop | Rock

Derek Fawcett - Feel Better (2014)

Artist: Derek Fawcett
Title Of Album: Feel Better
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: Self Produced
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 37:14
Total Size: 106 Mb

1. Feel Better (5:23)
2. Pick Up (3:29)
3. Drive Away Cryin' (3:58)
4. Never Here (4:04)
5. Kinda Like A Love Song I Guess (3:50)
6. Romeo And Juliet (4:28)
7. Not My Call To Make (4:28)
8. Just In Case (3:17)
9. Nothing Left To Say (4:12)

Derek Fawcett has spent eleven years and five albums as the djembe player/vocalist in the Chicago roots-rock band Down The Line. But Fawcett’s vast capacity as a singer and songwriter dictated he was not meant to blend in with others for only a sliver of the spotlight forever. He finally steps forward to the world when his debut album Feel Better is set loose on October 7, 2014.

You won’t hear an African hand drum on Feel Better as Fawcett mans a piano for this adventure, but he is operating a world full of singer/songwriters who attempt to plumb the depths of emotions and make it seem easy, and most of them fail. Not Fawcett; he succeeds, and succeeds big. What might be lost in some of the exuberance of his old band is gained several fold in the consolation, emotional gravitas, and variable mood of this music.

“Feel Better,” the song that this album is named after, isn’t some sunny pop ditty its title might suggest, it’s a dark-hued simple folk tune about a friend whose become “an empty shell.” “I wish you’d put the bottle down,” he pleads briefly in a sweet falsetto, “because it won’t make you feel better, no it won’t make you feel better.” Yes, he has a knack to save the punch of a seemingly meek song for the chorus, whether its impact is uplifting or, in this case, meant to deliver a sting.

That’s why while he cites Billy Joel, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as influences, there’s a some U2 anthemic hooks present, too. That’s most apparent on the open road chant “Never Here,” where the refrain bursts open like stepping out into the blinding sun. But if Petty is more your cup of tea, well, “Not My Call To Make” could have been a comfortable addition to any Heartbreakers album. “Nothing Left To Say,” with Fawcett alone with his piano for most of the song, calls to mind Joel’s early gem “She’s Got A Way.”

“Kinda Like A Love Song I Guess,” is a dead-on title for a ballad, and that’s just what this is, one where the lyrics come together with uncanny casualness. Same goes for “Romeo and Juliet,” his command of storytelling approaching the level of the great John Hiatt.

Feel Better even feels like it’s better than Hiatt’s own 2014 offering Terms Of My Surrender, and that old vet has been on a roll lately. But there’s always room for more composers of Hiatt’s ilk because those whose songs possess the depth, maturity and easily engaging quality found on Fawcett’s songs are in such short supply these days.

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