Music is like food. Sometimes, you want something complex, heady, what my Food-Network-watching family calls ‘tall food.’ Sometimes, you just want a burger, or waffles, or mac and cheese; but just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s not well-executed. If I want a burger, I want a good burger.
Dave Schulz’ debut CD, Connect
, is a damned fine musical cheeseburger. At its heart, it’s simple pop-rock with a few twists and turns; but then again, you could say the same thing about Toy Matinee or Howard Jones. Schulz has created a deft, delicate, and deep album; he’s been doing this for a long time (he has played with everyone from the Goo Goo Dolls to Berlin to The Rembrandts to Fuel) and it shows. It doesn’t hurt that Schulz has some high-powered colleagues on Connect – Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Yes, Seal), and Mike Porcaro (Toto) show up to add to the fun.
Schulz’ songwriting and performing is far from simplistic. Connect has a deep underlying theme, putting the human need for real contact in a dichotomous relationship with the increasing distance in our electronic world. Schulz questions whether any form of ‘social media’ can replace the human touch. While the concept may be heavy, however, the music is not; Schulz creates hook-laden montages that are a lot of fun to listen to.
Special note has to be given to “Everything” (nominee for line of the year: “If you had everything / Would it mean everything? / Would you feel anything?”); “Fanatic,” with its tale of failed connections; “Perfect Day;” the powerful “Inside;” and a truly warped, sick, bizarre, and deliciously fun cover of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.” (I cannot describe this; it’s the most brain-breaking cover I’ve heard since Smartbomb’s version of Faith Hill’s “Breathe.”) The only place Schulz falters is on “Back To Me;” great lyrics, but the melody drags a bit.
Dave Schulz has created a powerful, precise, and stylish debut album that’s worth making a connection to. Check out Connect today.
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