[Released on 3rd June 2016 via Frontiers]
The Dan Reed Network (DRN) are back with their first new studio album since 1991’s ‘The Heat’. The line-up is Dan Reed (Vocals/Guitars/Piano), Brion James (Guitars/Keys/Vocals), Melvin Brannon II (Bass/Vocals), Dan Pred (Drums/Percussion) and new member Rob Daiker (Keyboards/Programming/Vocals), who replaces Blake Sakamoto.
The lead song, ‘Divided’ has already garnered favorable comments online and it is a good, uptempo lead song. Mind you, ‘The Brave’ must be up next as this is a wonderfully catchy tune and loving the keys/synth riff that drives the song along.
Dan Reed has been having a successful solo career in the past few years whilst DRN have been absent, and the heartfelt lyric on ‘Champion’ does sound like his recent solo output.
Love the funky and rocking instrumental ‘Ignition’ which leads nicely into one of the biggest funk rockers on the album ‘Give It Love’. This song really recalls that classic DRN sound.
This album is a ‘must have’, simple as that. Why? The songs are all top notch and the music is a heady mix of rock, funk and features some awesome keys and programming breaks. I am not sure how much influence new boy Rob Daiker has had, but the songs have lots of keys/synths all over them and they complement the funky bass lines/guitar riffs (not too many guitar solos on the album overall, one minor disappointment).
It has been a long time for fans of the DRN waiting for new songs from the band and it has been well worth the wait. An album of the year contender.