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DAN REED NETWORK Fight Another Day

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Saturday, June 18, 2016 @ 9:16 AM


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DAN REED NETWORK
Fight Another Day

2016 Frontiers Records




DAN REED NETWORK is a hard rock/funk/melodic/soul band from Portland, Oregon that was successful in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s; they released an EP and three full-length albums. The band was comprised of five musicians with diverse cultural and musical backgrounds and until now, had not released an album since 1991. After reuniting for some European festival appearances in recent years, the band decided to record a new album, much to their own surprise. Dan Reed commented: “I never envisioned making another DRN album despite countless people throughout the world encouraging us to do so.” Amazingly, nearly the entire band has returned for this release for Frontiers Records. Vocalist Dan Reed, guitarist Brion James, bassist Melvin Brannon II, and drummer Dan Pred are joined by new keyboardist Rob Daiker.

I first became aware of DRN in 1991, when they released their third album, The Heat on Polygram Records. Produced by Canadian mega-producer Bruce Fairbairn (R.I.P.), The Heat was a funky, upbeat album with socially conscious lyrics. It was one of those albums where my favorite track changed every time I listened to it, and I listened to it so much I nearly wore the cassette out. I recently listened to the album again, and it sounded even better than I remembered.

25 years later, DRN returns with the appropriately titled Fight Another Day. The opening track, “Divided” finds the band rocking right out of the gate with a solid, pulsing track that also received a well done performance video. (Look for it on Youtube). “The Brave” is an even more upbeat track, featuring a cool background chant and funky bassline from Melvin. Rob’s keyboards add some cool highlights in the song. Things get even funkier with the bouncy mid-tempo “Infected”. I like this track as well. The album’s title comes from the song “Champion”, an otherworldly, emotional ballad. There is something about this song...Dan Reed’s lead vocal and Rob’s keyboards combine to form a mesmerizing track. “Ignition”, an instrumental, serves as the intro for “Give It Love”, which gets back to rock with a bit of slap-bass thrown in. The song features one of the best choruses on the album and is pretty infectious. “B There With U” is a dreamy track, while “Save The World” probably contains the most socially conscious lyrics on the album, and references “The Lonely Sun” from The Heat album. This song, as well as “Reunite”, references the fact that mankind needs to come together. “Eye Of The Storm” is a decent funky track, though a bit plodding. “Heaven” explores a more soulful side, while “Sharp Turn” and “Stand Tall” close the album with a nice melodic touch.

I like Fight Another Day. I would not rank it better than The Heat, but I think there are some solid tracks that both longtime fans and newer fans will enjoy. The trademark funky jams, soulful melodies and socially conscious lyrics the band are known for are definitely present on Fight Another Day. The band’s style has changed a little since The Heat, as you would expect, but it’s not a huge difference. There are 13 songs that last almost an hour. I also like the cool sci-fi album cover. A nice return.

4.0 Out Of 5.0

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