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Ross on One Way track to oblivion

Rose Cora Perry | Interrobang | Lifestyles | September 28th, 2009

Danny Ross: One Way

Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much education. Coming from someone who is currently in her sixth year of post-secondary studies, this may sound strange. However, I am a firm believer that when it comes to the performance arts, one either has it or they don't, and no amount of schooling, even if it teaches you all of the technical know-how, can make up for a deficiency in natural talent. So is the case with Danny Ross.

Although his work has been heralded by the Cornell Daily Sun as having “masterpiece” status, not to mention he has been named a finalist in several international songwriting competitions, frankly, to steal a line from his latest's opening track, in my view, One Way, is nothing more than a “yawning breeze.”

Teetering between a less intelligently crafted, Pablo Honey, and an amateur re-working of Jason Mraz's Waiting for My Rocket to Come, with just the imperfect mix of odd instrumental arrangements and weak vocal melodies comparable to those found on Silverchair's Diorama, Ross' One Way is just plain bizarre. And despite his publicist's claim that his work presents, “an orchestral and lyrical account of young adulthood in the millennial generation,” the inclusion of obnoxious horns, strings that frequently sound out of tune, far too much harmonica for anyone in their right mind (and I'm a fan of Steven Tyler!), not to mention twangy guitars reminiscent of Patsy Cline's, Walking After Midnight, has resulted in an album that is as far away from contemporaneous in terms of its feel (or I should say sound) as one can imagine.

Further, considering Ross' boast-worthy political involvement (as per his bio, he is a staffer for Congressman Jerrold Nadler), I was especially disappointed to see that his lyrical content, for the most part, failed to deviate from the generic love song formula.

Considering all of this, it is easy to see why, Forgive Me Love, one of the three upbeat and tolerable pop tracks included on this album, was chosen as the first single. With its straight forward melody and Norah Jones-esque atmosphere, it absolutely has the potential to appeal to lovers of adult contemporary. Other standout tracks include, And the Trumpets Sing which immediately reminded me of Spoon's Book I Write, and the title track, One Way which may prove enjoyable to those who recall fondly the cheesy tracks played during the credit rolls of 80s romance movies.

While I have nothing personal against Ross, and in fact commend his efforts to give his musical career a sincere shot (he self-released this album), I do have two pieces of advice to offer him, which I hope he takes seriously. If he doesn't want his career to go one way (ie: ending up as just another lost file among the millions of indie artists who sputter out and fail annually), he should stick to composing cheery and catchy pieces, as this appears to be his stronger suit, and secondly, as revealed in the photos included in his album's booklet, he is in desperate need of an image overhaul (a little hair gel can go a long way.)
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