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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Damien, Dannie - 2010 The Boxer And The Boozer
Damien, Dannie - 2010 The Boxer And The Boozer

ARTIST: Damien, Dannie
ALBUM: The Boxer And The Boozer
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2010
SPONSOR: Dannie Damien


LINEUP: Dannie Damien - lead vocals, all instruments

Guests: Ciccio Ronchi - vocals (track 7) * Fabio Simonato - vocals (tracks 2, 4) * Angelo Casagrande - vocals (tracks 5, 8, 11)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Where There's A Winner * 02 Bad Girl * 03 Call Me In The Night * 04 Once On The Ring * 05 Lonely * 06 This Love In My Arms * 07 On The Rocks * 08 The Boxer And The Boozer * 09 Panama * 10 Have A Good Time (Turbo Version) * 11 When U Want Another Girl * 12 A Song About You



Back in late 2008 I had the opportunity to review Dannie Damien's second (proper) CD 'A Cowboy No One Gets'. Despite the naff title, the music contained some good moments, mixing up glam and melodic rock to good effect. It was all done on a low budget and as expected, was self released. This showed through in parts but you cannot deny that Dannie is capable of writing some half decent songs and his guitar playing is very good! The man from Bari in southern Italy returns in 2010 with his latest instalment: 'The Boxer And The Boozer'. If you're thinking that another naff album title has been unleashed upon us yet again, the answer is no. In Dannie's words: 'The lyrics change from song to song but on many songs the principal theme is the introspective and solitary war of a man, a man that in life is a boxer (sacrifice, devotion, pain) and at the same time he's a boozer (vice, addiction, weakness). Both of these conflicting worlds meet with no escape..' Sounds pretty deep, but the music doesn't dive to the depths of the Marianas Trench and back up again. The whole CD is relatively light and fluffy and bobs about on the surface with a fair degree of buoyancy.

The Songs
Giving Dannie a hand in the vocal department are three singers: Ciccio Ronchi, Fabio Simonato and Angelo Casagrande. They take the lead vocal on six of the twelve tracks, and gives the album ample contrast. Opening up with a piano motif, 'Where There's A Winner' soon progresses to a full featured rocker alternating between tempo changes, subtlety and aggression. The guitar solo is impressive too, and reinforces what I said earlier about Dannie's guitar prowess. He really is quite good! AOR types might enjoy 'Bad Girl', a load of keyboards to be had, plus Fabio Simonato's vocals. Shimmering guitar work (probably a tweaked digital reverb effect) leads the way on 'Call Me In The Night', a simplistic mid-paced rocker. I love the songtitle, and every guy wishes the girl of his dreams is able to do just this, but preferably before midnight.. lol! A man needs his beauty sleep after all.. yes? Fabio takes the lead again for 'Once On The Ring'. With such a dubious songtitle, my mind is going off in a thousand directions (settle down..) but I'm sure the subject matter is genuinely innocent. Again, some fantastic guitar parts from Dannie on this one, notwithstanding the very cool keyboard effects. Halfway through the album, we hear two ballads in succession. 'Lonely' goes down the piano route while 'This Love In My Arms' features acoustic guitar, both very melodic moments. 'On The Rocks' presents Ciccio Ronchi, and his vocal reminds me of Oliver Hartmann in places. This track starts out with a Queen like entrance a la the 'We Will Rock You' regimented back-beat, and continues through on the choruses too, but that's where the comparison ends. The title track 'The Boxer And The Boozer' is a fast paced melodic rocker with Angelo Casagrande on lead vocal, and I like the way the guitar solo takes on a neo-classical bent despite the very poppy style evident. 'Panama' is a jangly affair and in no way related to the Van Halen standard. This one has holiday mode wrapped around it, listen to the intro (the sound of ice and a drink being poured into a glass), sax solo and faint flamenco guitar parts. 'Have A Good Time' is a relentless rocker played at (Turbo?) a decent clip. It continues Dannie's preference for delivering party-laden pop/rock. 'When U Want Another Girl' is played at half speed and Dannie delivers it in part spoken/part sung mode. The lyrics sound kinda tortured (as we know with love lost/love wanting) so it makes for a good fit. The closer is a mostly acoustic ballad 'A Song About You', an easy on the ear affair with a gorgeous chorus and lush guitar parts to boot.

In Summary
Overall, the sound here is much approved from ACNOG, and the songs are very appealing. I wonder what would happen if Dannie was given a record label, a decent production budget and a top-notch engineer to deliver some magic on his songs? I believe that's all that is missing, because mostly everything else is in order. Don't be thinking that this CD is camped well inside the Glam circus-ring because it isn't. Fans of many of the other hard rock sub-genres may enjoy this outing as much as I did. Another solid effort from this promising Italian artist.

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