Dangermuffin - Olly Oxen Free CD

Dangermuffin's new song-driven album, their first since 2010's Moonscapes, is the band's most established, conceptually unified work to date.

The songwriting is as strong and intricate as it is laid-back and evocative. The quality of these 13 songs is pretty high. Mixing roots-rock tunes with their skillfully handled ballads, Dangermuffin offers a bit of something for everyone. While the roots-rock material is good, it is on the ballads that the band truly excels. The lyrics are meaningful and the music is well handled and the vocals improve with every album. There are several tracks here that could easily be single hits, but this album really transcends any classification. Best cuts: "Slumber," "Cradle of the Beach," "Battle," "Homestead," "Rattle that Cage," and "Back in the Pines". 

The warm sound of this album will make it easier for newcomers and it seems to grow better and better, undoubtedly, with each listen. It is pure pleasure and sort of a miracle for the genres of Americana, folk and jam music.Olly Oxen Free is an album that should be the band's biggest commercial hit to date because in many ways it represents a career peak and provides the listener with a little more variety. I’m not trying to say that the album is a ground-breaking Americana record; Olly Oxen Free sounds so relaxed that it’s hard to think of it as revelatory. It succeeds in large part because of their cautious, wrought production and deliberate song-craft. They mix folk; ska, calypso and other themes, which are unusual because I still find that the songs manage to maintain a common sound throughout the whole album. The band understands that a great song is a great song, and are not afraid to explore new avenues and possibilities for the material. Much like their two previous records, their latest work is filled with treasures which become part of a world where genre and styles converge without ever sounding forced or contrived. Intelligent and thoroughly entertaining, Olly Oxen Free should be considered the band's best album to date.

- Simon Eddie