2018 Sterling Swan Records and Tapes
Going into this album I somewhat knew what to expect; superb production, smooth vocals and catchy melodies. What I wasn't expecting to hear was an album so great that I've listened to dozens of times before I could put pen to paper.
Cabaret of Love, Dana Countryman's fifth album of vocal Retro Pop, is an infectious blend of joy, love and fun. Enlisting the talents of Terry Draper and Dee Long (Klaatu), Jamie Hoover (Spongetones), Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson's Band), Scott McPherson, Kai Danzberg, Tricia Countryman and Tim Smolens, Countryman has put together his best release to date.
Tracks range from the Rubber Soul era Beatles feel of "Just See If I Care"(featuring Jamie Hoover) to the Gilbert O'Sullivan sound on "Favorite Dream" with a stop at the beach for “Summer Sand" and the Retro Pop tour de force of "If I Had a Girl" (featuring Kai Danzberg and Scott McPherson) Cabaret of Love has something for everyone to enjoy.
Many of the album's tracks tell the tale of falling in love and watching that love grow. "The Night I Fell in Love with You" is an homage to the Four Freshman that recalls that beautiful moment when real love begins. Capturing all of the little moments that matter (and quite frankly giving away his secrets) with "She Doesn't Know" Countryman reminds us how great it feels to have that special someone in our lives
If you’d like a song so catchy that will stick with you for days try “Why Girl.” The song, a duet with Kai Danzberg, is one of the few songs on the album about a love gone bad. It tells the story in such a positive way that you don’t even realize that the protagonist has been hurt. In fact, he seems happy for the experience and is ready to move on from it.
Before the Cabaret closes with “Cabaret of Love (Reprise),” Countryman gives some sage advice to his younger self (and perhaps to us all) on knowing that special moment when you meet the love of your life. “You Better Watch Out” is a very touching tribute to that very instance when it all becomes clear.
It's impossible to walk away from a Dana Countryman album without feeling joyous and with Cabaret of Love you'll feel a warmth in your heart as you've been reminded that true love exists and does indeed flourish.
Cabaret of Love, table for two please.
Adam A Waltemire
Pop Garden Radio