It Don’t Matter
Kicking off with It Don’t Matter, a relaxed and uplifting mood is set. The uptempo pop-folk song that reminds a little of Frankenreiter’s friend and labelmate Jack Johnson is free-spirited and sung with passion and confidence. It Don’t Matter is one of the album’s best songs and gets you in the right mood. Great opener.
Lead single Free is one of the album’s catchiest songs. The guitar melody and Donavon’s splendid vocals make it a song to remember. With a Beach Boys kinda cheer and a Donovan like vocal sound, this is a single that would have been a monster hit all over the world if it were the 60s/70s, but even today it should spark with the radio and the fans. Free continues to show this man’s talent and musicality.
On My Mind
The album then continues with On My Mind which is a laid-back folk song with a real beach feel. The bluesy undertone and strong vocals are aspects of the song that really lift it up to a higher level. A bit reminiscent of Keaton Simons in some aspects, just a little lighter in mood. On My Mind is another strong example of Donavon Frankenreiter’s abilities.
Our Love is another uptempo hippie-folk song. There’s a bit of a Monkees-like guitar melody/undertone at times that I’m really digging. It gives the song a bit more spunk and it just gets you movin’. To stay in theme: Groovy dudes!
What’cha Know About It
What can you say about 12 seconds of music? Nice, funny interlude.
Then Butterfly which is one of the best songs on the album, musically. The soulfully sung folk ballad tells a wonderful metaphorical story that is just so sweet and endearing. The embrace of music that is Butterfly is warm and light, and completely honest. It’s something that you can really feel, a true musical masterpiece.
Bend In The Road
Bend In The Road reminds me a lot of Jack Johnson again. The Simon & Garfunkel like ‘guitar-tapping’ and strumming with the brisky, freely sung vocals give you that free, surfer feel that is so typical for the bands and artists on the Brushfire label. It’s a very good song, but it can’t meet up with Butterfly.
This is another possible radio single. Or something for a commercial. The catchy, uptempo folk song has a nice ring to it and gets you movin’ along. “Just as long as you stay with the flow”, Frankenreiter sings, which is exactly what this song keeps on doing.
Make You Mine
This amazing singer/songwriter song with it’s soulful vocals and nice, catchy rhythm which, in sound, lies somewhere in between Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Keaton Simons, Syd & John Mayer is one of the album’s strongest. Like his contemporaries, Frankenreiter writes and performs a catchy pop song with a singer/songwriter basis that really speaks to you as listener. The groovy, yet mellow song gives you a relaxation while you enjoy the tune to the fullest.
Call Me Papa
Lyrically, Call Me Papa is one of the best songs on the album. And the bluesy folk song is a little gem in itself. The comforting and easing sound embrace you and make you feel safe. Donavon Frankenreiter brilliantly creates a musical atmosphere where you feel safe and secure. Rhythmically and melodically the song is one of the album’s strongest.
While Heading Home is really catchy, it sounds too much like Jack Johnson, in my opinion. It’s a pretty decent song, and it’s fun, but a little more originality would’ve made it better even, I believe.
So Far Away
So Far Away is probably my personal favorite on this album. The soft, bluesy folk song about a loved one that is far away is a story we can all relate to. And the way Frankenreiter performs this song just really touches that place in your heart where you miss that person. While listening to the song you just know that he really understands the feeling. And the gentle, well-composed music excellently supports that feeling.
Swing On Down
The free-spirited Swing On Down is a perfect way to end the album. It shows the swinging, free folk side of Donavon which is the side he does best. A nice harmonica is added to the song and Donavon ends this album with musical festivity.
With his self-titled debut, Donavon Frankenreiter immediately strikes some chords in the music industry and with the listeners. Songs like Free, Butterfly, Make You Mine & So Far Away are beautiful and show a strong singer/songwriter who is very conscious and confident in what he does and we can only say that he does it right. Donavon Frankenreiter is today’s top hippie!