DANNY KIRWAN – Second Chapter (1975)

Review by: Charly Saenz
Album assigned by: Nina A

Why do some people draw comparisons between this album and America? It’s in the voice I guess. It’s country rock, too, but that’s where it ends. This is a great, minor key album, that reveals more on the second (and third) listening. Ideal setting: Put on the fire, get some Fernet (with Coke for me dear) and caress the dog (or cat, a Maine Coon ideally if you don’t mind the hair) while you put on the vinyl record on the old 1974 Pioneer turntable, a PL-530 for me, thanks..
We’ll I’m letting myself go. Danny was a member of the more obscure stage in Fleetwood Mac’s career, so it is a nice surprise to listen to this piece of music forgotten by history (not in Youtube, not in Spotify, who are you? Van Morrison?).
The album starts off with a lively countrysh song, “Ram Jam City”. Fiddles, nice vocals and a cool melody line. Great song in the best Dillard & Clark tradition. “Odds and Ends” is a little more like saloon music, Macca style, a little wonder and it does work. “Hot Summer Day” is a delight, worthy of being covered by Karen Carpenter. Adult contemporary music at its best.
Well, “Mary Jane” is more.. ska. And this one does sound like America indeed. In the worst possible way. Not my cup of tea. Next! “Skip A Dee Do” is another happy Macca-like song, but this one is much better, though the title may put you off initially (like Ob-la-di Ob-la-da should by the way).
“Love Can Always Bring You Happiness” is perfect and sunny, with those fiddles, not “Hot Summer Day” level, though, but the chord changes are beautiful. “Second chapter” is more subdued and there are nice details here and there but it’s always this wrapping sweet effect that gets you. An ideal companion for the nighttime relax mood. At a certain point the song grows with saxes and more horns all over. I might even use it as a relief in Shaft’s soundtrack.
“Lovely Days” is more introspective, almost “Forever Changes” quality. “Falling in Love With You” is in the country/folk vibe again, somehow reminds me a little of Fleetwood Mac. “Silver streams” is a little gem, bits of Gene Clark but the soother voice taking it to a more mainstream level.
After the perfect Paul Williams’/Gilbert O’Sullivan wanna-be “Best Girl In The World”, “Cascades” is a great and soft ending to a very delicate album.
If you’re in the mood you’ll definitely enjoy a fantastic piece of work. Danny had a rough life (well, take a seat, Pal!) devote some minutes to him, he deserves it. But you gotta take the time to let it sink in. Stop and Smell the roses, they say. Don’t let the wolves fool you, the truth is out there. Peace, Out!