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Dan Markell | Eleven Shades of Dan Markell

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Artist's Official Website "Give Me The Word" "(If You're Headed Nowhere) You've Arrived"

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United States - California - LA

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Pop: Power Pop Rock: Retro-Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Eleven Shades of Dan Markell

by Dan Markell

Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Truly Julie
4:02 $0.59
2. Give Me the Word
4:10 $0.59
3. Every Other Guy
3:06 $0.59
4. You Mighta Made the Sun
3:30 $0.59
5. Seven Shades of Envy Green
4:23 $0.59
6. Electric Sunshine
3:52 $0.59
7. Wallpaper Conversation
3:24 $0.59
8. (If You're Headed Nowhere) You've Arrived
3:50 $0.59
9. Mary Jean Won't Disappear
3:41 $0.59
10. Don't Let Yourself Grow Tired
3:56 $0.59
11. Sour Apple
2:51 $0.59
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Eleven Shades of Dan Markell showcases the full range of this singer-songwriter's work- from the infectious pop balladry of "Give Me The Word", "You Mighta Made The Sun" and "Sour Apple" to the heavy-edged alt. rock of "(If You're Headed Nowhere) You've Arrived)" and "Electric Sunshine." In addition to all the lead vocal and songwriting duties, Markell is responsible for a lot of the instrumental work on this set. His guitar playing runs the gamut from lilt to crunch and he proves to be a well-rounded utility man on other axes including keyboards, bass and a slightly-audible trumpet.

A keen sense of melody and clever, insightful lyrics are really what Markell's songcraft is all about and both aspects make each of these "Eleven Shades" worthy of repeated listening. Considering that "McCartney-esque" (or some derivation thereof) is the phrase most typically used to describe his style, it's only fitting that Markell enlisted none-other-than former Wings drummer Denny Seiwell to weave his inimitable percussion magic on the evocative "You Mighta Made The Sun."

Among the other fine players who help to bring the music to life is Jim Babjak (Smithereens lead guitarist) whose 6-string wizardry shines on "Every Other Guy."

It's hard to pick a favorite track on this long-player that truly represents the varied colors that make up the music of Dan Markell.


"In a recent interview with The Guardian, Jarvis Cocker (of 90’s British popsters Pulp) outlined a brief taxonomy of pop-lyrical schemes that he claims form the basis of most attempts at songcraft. “You either try to make people laugh, and make out like you don’t really mean it – or you try to sum up the entire universe in a single song,” he explained, when really all Cocker felt one needs to do to write a successful pop song is to “write about your own experience.” A fair statement, though a few strong hooks, some rudimentary melody, and a little natural talent go a long way towards rounding out that summation. Dan Markell’s new album Eleven Shades of Dan Markell (2011, Fermada Nowhere Music) takes Cocker’s formula and runs with it. Stuffed full of down-to-earth, well-crafted pop-rockers sporting ample infectious hooks and melodies, Eleven Shades is a tight album with very little by way of flotsam, coming off as a markedly accessible and relatable collection of songs (seemingly) culled from the world immediately adjacent to Dan Markell.

Musically, Eleven Shades of Dan Markell is a solid effort overall, with able-bodied tracks aplenty and a few really stand-out singles peppered in for good measure, including the Beatle-esque “You Mighta Made the Sun” (featuring founding Wings member Denny Seiwell on drums), the Lennon vs. Weezer “Seven Shades of Envy Green”, and the ridiculously hummable “Give Me The Word”. There are a lot of influences percolating here, from the obvious McCartney/Beatles slant, to Elvis Costello, The Shins, Tom Petty, The Kinks, Big Star, a spectrum of 80’s pop college radio, even a smattering of AM-era Wilco on tracks like “Truly Julie” and “Every Other Guy”.

Lyrically, the focus throughout seems to be on subjects and personages close to Markell, and the content manages to rotate around well-trod themes such as love, attraction, and even shallowness (i.e. “Wallpaper Conversation”) without becoming overly tedious, cyclic, or humdrum. Embedded in the melodic meanderings and frequent vocal harmonies of Markell’s pop structuralisms, uncomplicated lines such as “Give me the word; Let it be heard; Tell me there’s love that you’ve been dying to show” (“Give Me The Word”) take on a nearly anthemic quality, and will be stuck in your head for a few days surely.

All in all, Markell manages to be a songwriter who comes off as sentimental and observant without taking up the mantle of some prescriptive prophet prophesizing deepness in the kiddie pool nor of some starry-eyed-deer-in-the-headlights overly-saccharine romantic (both of which are all-too-common pop songwriting phyla, thank you very much). Instead, Markell sticks to the basics and comes away with a gem of an album that this reviewer will be humming for some time to come. Perhaps Jarvis Cocker would be proud.

Reviewer: Reed Burnam
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)



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