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'Second Time Around'
(Cherry Red)
Release Date: 25th September 2015

Liz Medhurst

liz medhurst

ian danter

Ian Danter has produced a wonderfully literal title for this album as 'Second Time Around' is the follow up to debut solo album 'Prove You Wrong'.

As before, he takes the word solo quite literally too as he performs just about every instrument and vocal heard, with the exception of backing vocals on two tracks. That's the lot, vocals, drums, guitars, keyboards, handclaps, everything – plus the small matter of writing the material too.

That's always a risky proposition - multi-tasking does not always pay off and can be an exercise in vanity or being a control freak but happily Ian proves that he has the talent required. He has many strings to his bow, being a brilliant presenter and commentator on talkSPORT covering many prestigious events and turning in a spot as a DJ on Planet Rock too.

The album, produced by Alex Cooper, is as good a collection of classic melodic rock that you will find anywhere. You're not going to get any jaw dropping virtuoso performances here, but many many occasions that elicit a smile on your face and a satisfied "yeah" – and that's more than OK.

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From the explosive opener right through the eleven tracks, it is clear that Danter has a Jeff Lynne-esque ear for melody coupled with solid rock sensibilities and a touch for a great riff. He's from Birmingham so has a geographical rock family tree that takes some living up to, and he passes with distinction.

A couple of listens in it went from a very pleasant experience to an album I really love. It's classic hard rock done really well, conjuring up memories of a forgotten ELO riff here, a smidgen of 10cc there, seasoned with echoes of both Kiss and Thin Lizzy. It could be horribly derivative but it isn't.

The first two tracks, 'If My Truth Is A Lie' and 'Mr Poison', contain not just belting riffs and melodies but lyrically we get a clue to the heart of the album's success.

With statements like "There's no hole in my life to fill, happy victim of my own free will" and "Don't write that cheque to Mr Poison" we get a massive "fuck you" to the naysayers, the drama merchants, to those who seek to bring others down or simply change them. Dants has got absolutely the right idea here – do what you love, follow your passions, chase happiness and know that living by your own rules is strength.

The chord progression and resolutions on 'Chinese Whispers' are a complete delight; you will be singing the hook from 'Love Fatigue' after first listen and the title track has classic written all over it.

'We Believed' is true 70s rock, which a touch of the 90s power pop resurgence and yet it sounds completely up to date for 2015, telling a brilliant story of the aspirations and dreams of one of his previous bands. And also several thousand other bands as a minimum I would wager...

'It All Comes Down To Rock' gives us a great stadium belter and then after a romp through 'Simple As That' we have a more straight-forward blues-rocker with 'I Didn't Get Where I Am Today', which in turn leads to the gentle ballad 'I Love You More'. This variety could well have been a bit of a cock up on the pacing front, but it really isn't; the order of the songs is put together well and it feels like a proper album should.

We are left with a proper stomper in 'Better Off Out Of It (Than Worse Off Dead)' finishing the album with a triumphant flourish.

Overall Ian Danter has well and truly come up with the goods in 'Second Time Around' and it sounds like these songs are itching to come out and play.

There are parts of this album where it feels like the sunshine is singing to you. Listen to it, get it on playlists because you are only going to feel happier as a result.

1. If My Truth Is A Lie
2. Mr Poison
3. Chinese Whispers
4. Love Fatigue
5. Second Time Around
6. We Believed
7. It All Comes Back To Rock
8. Simple As That
9. I Didn't Get Where I Am Today
10. I Love You More
11. Better Off Out Of It (Than Worse Off Dead)

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