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Album Review: If I’ve Only One Time Askin’

Daniel Romano
New West Records

Despite a punk background and work with City and Colour, Daniel Romano’s latest release If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ is a fresh breath back to the crooning country songs from half a century ago.

Showing off a new confidence in his wailing baritone voice, Romano sings of all the hardship that follows a burning love. Beginning with the harsh pains of a newly broken heart, “I’m Gonna Teach You” shows off the pain of this passionate hurt through sharp vocals. Through the album the heart ache eases, turning into a deeper, numbing pain. As the album progresses on “There’s a Hardship” fixates on the inevitability of this pain in love. With the album progressing through these shades of pain, Romano’s voice moves from the sorrow for his past love, to the distaste for love as a whole.

The influences of old country ballads and love stories show their influences as Romano keeps things slow. He leisurely works his way through each story of heart ache, Romano defines his genre as ‘mosey,’ allowing each song to have time for an impression upon the listener.

Romano has abandoned the whine in his voice, choosing to use a more confident, deeper voice. This stronger baritone voice delivers each line strongly, with selective choral vocals highlighting choruses and interludes. In combination with the country standard of a twangy guitar, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ features symphonic strings that carry the listener between each song. The occasional brass bellow and bang of an orchestral drum punctuate the painful message that Romano is conveys. These vocal choices in combination with these featured symphonic instruments, create a power behind the otherwise old-timey feel and is what separates Romano’s mosey style from other country albums released today.

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