Birmingham based musician Dan Whitehouse’s second album “Reaching for a state of mind” covers a gamut of emotions in his self penned lyrics, on a journey through dark, deep places, questioning and challenging with a searing honesty. Together with compositional input from producer and keyboard player Michael Clarke, the eleven songs range from rocky to simple acoustic settings.
The album opens with “A dream that’s floating out to sea”, a quirky, catchy song driven by the idiosyncratic creative use of percussion by Duke Special’s Chip Bailey who also adds a distinctive flavour to many of the other album tracks. “A Light” and “Come to me” continue in a driving rock vein but “The River” changes the mood completely with its simple opening which builds to an anthemic chorus. Moody strings and atmospheric drumming give the dark “Chasing paper” a nightmarish feel whilst “Why don’t we dance” is stripped back to simple block chords.
The track “Maybe I was born to run” with its Springsteen quotes, feature the steel guitar of P.J.Wright and a backing choir in true Springsteen fashion, and draws the album to a more positive feel at the close. The final track “Home” is a lovely poetic tribute to Birmingham.
“Reaching for a state of mind” is a well crafted album with great musicianship in the band providing support for Whitehouse to express his songs with variety and clarity. The emotive lyrics draw you in with their touching vulnerability and the imaginative musical settings provide excellent matches to the themes. The vibrancy of the opening track provides the highlight of the album with “The River” another strong contribution.
“Reaching for a state of mind” does exactly what it says on the tin and all credit to Dan Whitehouse for sharing his experiences in this album. Janet M Roe
Artist web link: www.dan-whitehouse.com