Dan Loves Patti
Atlantic Records, 1996
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/29/1997
Sometimes reviewing music is like eating at a smorgasbord: you tend to stay away from items you don't think will be appetizing, but when you get the nerve up to try it, you're mildly surprised at the product.
This could be said for the major label debut from alternative rock band Yum-Yum, Dan Loves Patti - though it also proves another old saying: Too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
The band is led by guitarist/vocalist Chris Holmes, whose vocals rarely rise above a pleading whisper. His subtle style of singing, combined with a basic but pleasant guitar work creates a form of alternative not heard in a long time. Pretty, but powerful. (Insert your wine tasting joke here.)
When Holmes does put a little more into his singing, the mood of the music seems to take on a more urgent tone. Unfortunately, Holmes saves his pipes until the second half of the album - what a shame.
Songs like the title track, "I'm Not Telling," "Apiary" and "Sister" all convey what alternative music was meant to be - and was - in the first place. The only problem is that the sound tends to stale quickly, and Dan Loves Patti tends to fall short because of this. There are no stylistic shifts on the album, tending to stagnate the music and cause Yum-Yum to lose some of their impetus.
What Holmes and crew need to do in future works is to inject a little more variety into their music - change the tempo here, move the guitars up in the mix there. This isn't a cake they're making - everything doesn't have to be even.
It may be hard to take a band named Yum-Yum seriously - song titles like "Doot-Doot" make it a little more difficult. But Dan Loves Patti proves this is a band that will need to be taken seriously in the near future. With a little more experimentation and growth as artists, Yum-Yum could be a shining star in the fading alternative scene.