Our old friend, David Wakeling is back with a new CD. His last release was an album of covers, which were great interpretations of others’ tunes, including a great version of Todd Rundgren’s “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference” as well as a much-better-than-Rod-Stewart’s-version of Tom Waits’s “Downtown Train”, not to mention stuff by James Taylor, Dave Grusin and more.
This time out, Dr. Wakeling’s new release, Detour is full of originals like his other albums. Quite an able songwriter as well as a musician, he really does a fine job, here, on Detour.
Actually, Wakeling includes one cover and an old standard, “Doctor! Doctor!” is a cover of the 80s hit by the Thompson Twins and is used, quite aptly, I thought, in an intro type of way, with only about a minute or so of it, then going into “What Will it Take”. “Paper Moon”, is the old crooner standard, written by Harlen/Harburg/Rose, but the rest of the album is nicely filled out by such great songs of his own, including “Proof of Life”, “It’ll Be Alright”, “Sonny Boy” and the quiet, acoustic ballad, “Might Have to Write a Love Song”.
Alternating his time between his medical work (he’s a medical doctor), whether in the ER or in a less busy clinical setting, and the world of songwriting and making music, David sure keeps busy. But on those precious off-days from the hospital, he composes music and works on his chops, keeping up with the musical scene as much as he can. He seems to be forging ahead pretty well, after about three or four albums under his belt and he sees to be going up, up, up.
The songs on Detour definitely seem to show more confidence than the previous releases, though, not a pompous alienation of the past. It’s still the same David, thoughtful, poetic lyrics, good melodies in the music. The album seems to go into a more jazzy vein, like the kind you might hear at a jazz club or a hipster bar in a nice part of downtown. “Proof of Life” is also a quiet, acoustic number, but has an uptempo, jazzbo style to it.
Actually, to tell the truth, the whole album is based on hushed, acoustic guitar-based, drumless melodies, sung with much verve and the aforementioned poetic lyrics that really shine. It shows that Wakeling’s not staying in one spot, but experimenting with styles and also changing things up, album to album.
This is a very easy album to listen to, the mellowness of the tunes belie an intricate, complex songwriting behind it all. It’s great to have independent singer-songwriter musicians, such as David, making his own stuff, with no one breathing down his neck. A refreshing change from the typical fare one hears on the radio, over and over again, this is something one can enjoy at one’s leisure in the solitude of one’s home or in the car or out and about on your iPod. Very easy on the ears and a good batch of songs here. I’m hoping he comes back soon with another release that shows off this great lyrical ability and the catchy melodies.
For those whose interest has been piqued and want to find out more about David Wakeling and his music and/or find a way to purchase this CD, you can visit his website, Wakeling Music, just by clicking here: https://www.wakelingmusic.com – there you can find out more about the man and his music as well as order this album or older ones (see my previous reviews on his last two albums for a guide). Anyway, happy listening and hope you pick up a copy. We need more of these iconoclastic types in the music scene to keep the overly soundalike top 40 pap at bay.
Like I said, I hope the good doctor brings some more good medicine our way soon! -KM.