almost there, where you've always wanted to be
You're aware, that you're smiling now,
so spread your wings and fly"
One Word Review: Wholesome
When Donnie Vie's White Album was released back in 2014, I feared it would be his last hurrah. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, and here he is, back with another solo album, in the form of Beautiful Things.
The first thing that hit me, was the positive vibe flowing from both the music and lyrics. For someone who has followed Donnie's music for close to thirty years, it is a true pleasure to hear how he has progressed and reached this point. The whole album feels thoughtful and mature, without losing neither charm nor depth.
The second thing that is immediately clear, when compared to The White Album, is Donnie's ability to focus. Like a dog on a bone, he has cleaned the album of all the extraneous fat and gotten right to the core of his talent, resulting in a batch of high quality songs.
It is an album packed with melody, emotion and an impeccable sense of harmonies, evidenced already in the opening title track. From here, the album provides a good mix of rockers, ballads and moods, all deeply flavored by that unique ingredient, known as The Donnie Spice.
This rare, unique spice is what gives the album its edge and takes it that last final step from greatness onto the plateau of magnificence.
Examples are plenty.
The immediacy of Plain Jane is invigorating, as the song flows unbound and free, and it provides an interesting contrast, when compared to the sense of doubt and hesitation, the follow-up Breaking Me Down suddenly brings to the album. Atmosphere shifts such as this, is one of Donnie's trademarks, and he delivers these in an impressive fashion here.
Fly is one of those incredible ballads, where I get this tingling feeling all over, and time and space just stops. The song has a deeply emotional core, as its inspiring lyrics are delivered with just the right amount of feeling, and as the song slowly evolves, it reaches a final peak, so cry-your-eyes-out beautiful and fitting, that I am filled with a feeling of happy contentment every time I hear it, a knowing smile on my face.
Fly is a defining song of the album and among Donnie's finest creations.
Tender Lights and I'll Surrender are mid- album favorites, showcasing a relaxed, smooth-flowing vibe, which, along with superb harmonies, really bring the songs to another level.
That maturity I mentioned earlier, leads to a song like Whatever, an absolute pleasure of a song, which explains, eloquently and succinctly, Donnie's life so far. It feels like a homage to his history, seen through a rose-tinted pair of sunglasses.
A Beatles vibe is evident in the rhythm section, and the song feels like it celebrates all that has taken him to this place in life. It is another highlight of the album, and I find it to be pure joy with each listen.
Back From The Blue ends the album on a truly emotional note, as the song captures very concrete feelings of saying goodbye to something good and moving on. I find the delivery of the line "Right now it doesn't feel like this broken heart will heal, but soon you'll find appeal in something brand new" completely disarming each time I hear Donnie singing it.
I can't help it, I am totally in love with this song. From the excellent rhythm, through the deeply emotional lyrics, singing and overall vibe, everything just hits a very special tone that works. This is one of Donnie's specialties, and why I have him at the very top of my list of favorite songwriters. It is incredible what he has done, and what he continues to do.
Beautiful Things feels as if Donnie Vie has turned a new leaf and from this point on, it is all about moving on and making the most of things. The album presents 10 songs of utmost beauty, songs that get under your skin and stay there, while tingling and sparkling with each listen, as they grow into something special.
Roon, my music playback software, says that I have listened to the album 81 times by now, and this came to a surprise, even to me, since I feel as if, I have only just started on cracking the album open. It feels as if it has plenty more to give, and I cannot recommend it heartily enough, though I've just given it a shot.
Master songwriter Donnie Vie is back, and he is flying high with this release.
PS: Beautiful Things is currently available for purchase from Donnie's PledgeMusic site here.
Written By Steen
Online: Sunday, January 6, 2019
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