Danny Wilkerson – Wilkerson
Lannie Flowers isn’t the only Pengwin with a pen. The drummer can write, too. And man, can he sing. With vocal chops most of us would die for, Danny Wilkerson’s new album makes one wonder what the hell he was doing behind a drum kit all this time. Wilkerson, his first solo effort, is chock full-o great tunes performed at the highest level.
Punctuated by the production of Bleu McAuley and sound engineer Ducky Carlisle (more on these two later), the sound is big and the arrangements are McCartney-esque. You’ll hear other influences, too including ELO, Queen, The Sweet and Burt Bacharach.
The aforementioned Bacharach springs to mind from the moment one hears the opening moments of “Everybody Loves to Love”. The arrangement is fluid not unlike something you might expect to hear on Ram or Abbey Road. By the way, the disc was mastered at Abbey Road Studios.
“Enough for Somebody” would have been a hit in practically any decade but this one. It’s lyrically thoughtful and catchy as hell. And with this kind of radio friendly production, it would have been a staple on every station’s playlist in better days. “Endless Haze” is a lyrical gem about alcoholism while “You Still Owe Me a Kiss” is pure pop.
The favorite for single of the year has to be “Too Much of a Good Thing”. It has an infectious sing-along chorus that demands your attention. Too much of a good thing? I don’t think so. And if it is, at least I’ll die with a smile on my face.
Getting back to Bleu and Carlisle, I’ve been a fan of their work for a long while now – Carlisle in particular. Hell, I remember when he was a kid performing in a Syracuse NY band called The Most. They weren’t. But he was pretty damn good. If you like Wilkerson and you want to investigate some other very worthwhile pop projects from Carlisle and Bleu, check out Pop Filter’s Pop This! and The Major Label’s Aquavia (and the track “Velveteen Queen” in particular).