the importance of being earnest

Danny Tate (Charisma)
Danny Tate

By Kory Wilcoxson

Comments overheard at a Danny Tate concert: "Look at his hair!" "He's so cute!" "AAAAIIIEEEE! !!"

Unfortunately, it's the music that makes me scream. It's not that it's bad. It's just that the many musicians' footprints on this musical territory have made it hard to distinguish the talent from the dirt.

Tate is the ultimate cliche of macho rock — ambiguous lyrics, sappy ballads, Adonis-like looks and a half-hearted rebel attitude. While his appearance may woo many a young girl, I doubt his songs will have the same seducing effect on music lovers.

The album has a solid sound to it and all the tunes are decently written and performed. But there's nothing there to prove that Tate is really into it for the music. The songs are temporarily likable but easily forgettable, much like most of the disposable rock heard on Top 40 stations.

There is promise here. A few songs, such as "Winds of Change," with its snappy chorus, showed enough sincerity to stick in my head longer than 15 minutes. However, those bright spots were few and far between. It would be interesting to see what someone with more conviction, say Melissa Etheridge, could do with the same material.

With a clever marketing ploy, Tate could easily be the rock version of Billy Ray Spare-us. If his music remains as flaky as it is Achy Breaky, he won't be whipping his hair around long on the music scene. But with looks like that, who cares about the music?