Danan Healy ~ The Other Side
Date: Sunday, September 09, 2007 @ 00:03:27 UTC

Artist: Danan Healy

CD: The Other Side

Home: New York City

Style: Rock / Ska / Singer-Songwriter

Quote: "She's got everything -- solid songs, a killer voice and lots of variety."

By Jamie Anderson

I want to marry Danan Healy. Yeah, I’m a girl too and we can’t do that legally in most places but y’all! She’s got everything – solid songs, a killer voice and lots of variety. Dang – you want Sarah McLachlan wistfulness? You got it. Kicker guitar hooks and fist-in-the-air anthems that should be classic rock standards? It’s here. Edgy ska? Yep, got that too. Forget the seat belt. Pop the clutch, press the metal and hang on.

Let’s start with the song that should be in constant rotation on your MP3 player. “You Need More Love” features her sexy wailing vocals, chunky distorted guitar in the chorus and a killer horn section. Crank it to eleven. I dare you to only play it once. “I need more lovers” she implores. The line starts to the left, boys. And, um, girls.

“What I Want” has a more sinister message, about the girl whose mantra is gimme gimme gimme. It’s got more decibel crashing guitar and driving rhythms with a hooky chorus. Don’t annoy a songwriter folks, and in case you forget, listen to “Don’t Waste My Time.” The bass and guitar player in that one slip in a little funk, making it good booty shaking music. And “Gold Star?” Good god in a canoe, this woman is sexy and babe, it’s under her rules. Just do what she says, “Load on up your gun, I’ll cause un-relaxation.” If you piss her off, you get a song like “Despise You,” an ovaries-to-the-wall ska song about what an idiot you are.

Danan’s not all screech-around-the-corners rock and ska. There are some wonderful ballads here too. My favorite is “Love Again,” a cut that starts and ends with an emotional violin solo. Subtle guitar, bass and drums in ¾ time join in first, then her beautiful lyrics:

The daylight on the other side
The smallest smile across closed eyes
A new day and brand new start
I stretch and breathe it in to my heart ...

It’s another song you’ll want to play again and again but for different reasons.

Other ballads with thoughtful lyrics include “Beautiful” (with spot-on backing vocals by Laura Dause), “Mother” and “The Only Way.” Don’t be mislead by the pretty fingerpicked acoustic guitar in that last song – the lyrics are depressingly raw: “The only way I get through the day is that I don’t die.”

I could use more bandwidth here but just buy the freakin’ album and see for yourself. Don’t bother me, I’ll be in my car, her tunes blasting away as I drive around town with the windows down. Do you think she’d like the gold band or the diamond solitaire?

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