All music fans look for something different in the songs they listen to. Some are suckers for a guitar riff, whilst others like the big power vocalists. Me, well I’m all about the lyrics. As a teenager I spent hours pouring over the words to the latest Tori Amos or Alanis Morisette, trying to dissect their meanings. But there’s a different style of songwriting that I love too. Take for example The Beautiful South; they use humour and their dry northern delivery to tell a story. They create images with their words. And that’s what initially made my ears prick up when I heard the debut album from singer-songwriter Dan Loops, titled strangely enough, ‘An Album’. And the title seems to sit hand in hand with the content of the album. Simple but effective. It’s a clever, interesting mix of of rap, singing and acoustic guitar, beatboxing and vocal loops. Is this the modern day equivalent to a one man band?
A lot of the album seems to challenge stereotypes and social ‘norms’, starting from track one ‘Beautiful’. The song looks at the tradition sense of what is beautiful, and how magazines showing size zero or large breasted models can break down self esteem of the average person. ‘I Will Love You’ has a similar theme, creating a beauty between people who have grown old together and see each other as they always did, even when her ‘tits sag down to the floor’ or his ‘balls are sagging down to his knees’. Kinda cute in its own way. ‘Little old lady’ doesn’t just warn us of the dangers our citizens can be, but also on the snap judgements the older generation can make on younger people. On a similar theme is spoken word track ‘Stereotypical, pt. 1’. I’m not going to say too much about this one and give it away though. Take a listen yourself.
There’s something very likeable about the album as a whole. He does what great observational comedians do, and takes things from real life and sings about them in a way that everyone can get on board with. Every word he sings (or raps) is relatable to things in our own lives, and is done with much familiarity and without any sugar coating. As much as Loops hones his skills to his clever and funny lyrics, sometimes he just comes across as incredibly sweet. Like on ‘Hermoine’. Many lads of his generation will no doubt feel the same love for Harry Potter’s sidekick Hermoine Granger. She is probably the love of many boys lives who grew up in the era ruled by Ms. Rowling’s much loved creations, so it only seems right there should be such a song.
‘An Album’ is a really strong set of songs for a debut collection. It shows a great deal of thought in its writing, all delivered in a fresh and intelligent way.
Check out Dan’s official page or follow his social media;