A lot of you probably still remember Dan Miraldi í09 ó after all he only graduated a year ago.† But for those of you who never had the chance to see him perform over the past four years, you still have an opportunity to check out this Wooster alumís music.† His new album, ìThirsty,” is available for download on iTunes, and itís more than worth the ten bucks.
Although this is technically Miraldiís second album, it is the first to be released on iTunes and the first to consist entirely of solo pieces ó his first album, ì21,” contained a mix of songs from his bands Cherry Flavored Elevator, Exit Suburbia and Seizure Salad.† ìThirsty” contains a few songs found on that album, remixed and re-recorded with a more professional quality, but is mostly new material.
Stylistically, the album jumps around a lot, which is good, because it keeps the songs from all sounding the same.† Several of the more upbeat numbers, like ìThat guy/Summer romance” and ìLaura McHugh,” have sort of a bubble-gum pop feel reminiscent of early 60s rock, but with a driving beat and instrumentation that feels much more modern.† Other tracks, especially ìLittle Voices,” have a more modern rock feel to them, with fast bass riffs and electric guitar licks.† Some of his ballads seem like 70s classic rock, although a little softer and less intense, and the title track is much more folkish than most of the album.
But whatever kind of rock seems to be the basis for a given song, Miraldi deviates slightly from it ó not to the point that itís distracting, but enough to make things interesting.† The harmony vocals and Miraldiís vocal quality make each song feel a little richer than youíd expect.† Thereís also a nice balance of fast and slow songs, and quite a bit in between.
Most of the songs express relatively simple themes, but some of the lyrics are quite clever.† The first and last tracks, ìSex Symbol” and ìA Keeper,” both feature tongue-in-cheek lyrics about dysfunctional relationships, which are fun and upbeat. Other songs have themes and lyrics that are clichÈ, but so perfectly clichÈ that you canít help but enjoy them, and their lyrics are still well-crafted.† Probably the catchiest song on the album, ìMore Than Yesterday,” fits that category.
A few oblique references to Wooster, like ìwe stood together on the Chapel roof” in ìMore and More” made me smile when I heard them, but arenít overt enough for other people to be confused by them.
On the surface, thereís nothing brilliant about Miraldiís music.† But he has managed to capture, in several different kinds of rock music, whatever element it is that makes rock music fun.† ìFun” is probably the best word to describe the album ó it made me want to sing along and maybe dance a little.† Overall, Iíd call it a pretty solid debut, and I hope there is more to come from this up-and-coming Wooster star.