Danny Flanigan
Format: Cassette

By Patrick Fitzgerald

Since he has struck out on his own solo performances after leaving Hopscotch Army, Danny Flanigan has been selling tapes of his original acoustic music at performances. The tape, recorded for Danny by Dave Stewart, has a very clean sound and is very representative of Danny's crisp playing style and emotive vocals. The songs show a level of musical maturity in their almost childlike frankness.

At a time when music with a message is in vogue and can almost be annoyingly patronizing, Danny's music achieves not a redundant cliche found in many contemporary songs, but a sense that the artist genuinely feels the music coming out of his performance.

Many of the songs, such as "Michael," "Troubling" and "Bonnie Breathe," seem to have been inspired by personal situations. The latter is one of Danny's most emotive songs.

The songs are written from the point of view of someone who has matured past accepting the inconsistencies in life and has gone back to asking those impossible naive questions a child might ask, wondering why people are prejudiced or why there are no more horses. The songs are filled with not only a remorse or frustration with the way things often are, but a hope that they don't have to he that way; "and hope is a word I never quit using."

"The Umbrella Song" seems to be written from the viewpoint of someone who wants to believe that. his love is unconditional but may find that it is not. "If you could imagine, I would hold my breath so you could breathe, breathe me."

One of the most memorable songs on the tape is called "Porcu Bears and Monkey Ducks," which shows an animal – as monkey duck – having difficulty understanding why his being different is cause for discrimination against him by another equally different animal, a porcu bear. I only hope that a great many children in their developing years will get the to hear this song and ask the same questions.

The tape is not at all disappointing to those who have heard Danny play live and wish they could hear him the next day in their living room. It's a piece of the sun from behind a patch of clouds, but I'll take sun over rain any day.