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Donavon Frankenreiter

MOVE BY YOURSELF • Donavon Frankenreiter

From the opening moments of his latest CD Move By Yourself, it is quite apparent that Donavon Frankenreiter is a child of the 1970s. Filled with infectious funk and soul grooves and a mellow vibe, Move By Yourself is a mixture of the sounds of such seminal '70s acts as Stevie Wonder, the Allman Brothers, and even James Taylor. Lyrically, the album finds Frankenreiter expounding on such universal themes as love and longing, maturity and wisdom, without being cliched.

The title track is straight out of Stevie Wonder's Talking Book album with its R&B beat and soulful vocals, its joyous clavinet and hopeful lyrics about choosing your own path. Featuring disco strings and a breezy aesthetic, "The Way It Is" would not be out of place on the latest Josh Rouse CD, Subtitulo, while "By Your Side" is clearly inspired by 1970s singer-songwriter albums. "These Arms" is a sauntering acoustic guitar and organ number with lyrics about finding one's place in the world. The intro to "Let It Go," meanwhile, shows the influence of Frankenreiter's close friend and one-time producer Jack Johnson, while the refrain stems more from a jam band aesthetic.

"Fool" features a much heavier sound and lyrics grounded in southern blues music, with Frankenreiter's guitars and Eric Brigmond's organ producing a melody that is at once jaunty and incendiary. "Everytime" is a rather direct love song that would fit into most adult alternative formats, while "That's Too Bad" draws on both southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and soul performers like Wonder. "Girl Like You" continues this trend, with G. Love providing harmonica accompaniment. "All Around Us" and "Beautiful Day" round out the album. The former is another adult alternative song that features a backing gospel choir and lyrics about universal love and compassion; the latter is a sunny, laid back acoustic guitar tune where blues and folk intermingle.

Brimming with optimism and peacefulness, Move By Yourself is both tender and joyous, lively and austere. Frankenreiter's sleek production and stunning, bluesy guitar riffs are key to the album, as are his wistful vocals. Overall, Move By Yourself is the perfect accompaniment for sultry summer evenings.
• Tracy M. Rogers

Donavon Frankenreiter

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