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Pass It Around

Donavon Frankenreiter

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Album Review

On Donavon Frankenreiter's third album, the former surfer and FOJ (friend of Jack, as in Jack Johnson) delivers another solid serving of laid-back sandy singer/songwriter soul. This time out there is less energy and funk than on 2006's Move by Yourself, and also fewer memorable songs. It feels like a bit of a backslide from that album's ambition and drive, but still results in a perfectly fine record. Frankenreiter hasn't gone back to the barely ambulatory pace of his debut; there is a lot of mellow bounce and semi-funky soul to be found, especially on "Hit the Ground Running" and "Sing a Song." And there are plenty of sweet melodies ("Mansions on the Sand"), heartfelt performances ("Come with Me"), and tunes that sound like '70s radio hits (the melancholy "Someone's Something") filling up the album, too. If things sound a bit slicker and less personal, it could be down to the fact that Frankenreiter took on co-writers for most of the tracks on the album. That's not to say that he's working with Max Martin in search of a huge hit; there's just a more professional feel and less of a "dude and his friends hanging out on the beach" kind of vibe here. The sound of the record doesn't help matters on that front much, either, as the arrangements are smooth and sophisticated as opposed to the stripped-down sound of the debut or the inventive arrangements and fresh approach on Move by Yourself. Part of Frankenreiter's charm on the first album was his innocence, while on the follow-up it was his innocent ambition. Here it feels like he's comfortably sliding into the role of the professional journeyman who cranks out albums because it's his gig. That's kind of sad on one level, but on another it's not so bad because the product is good. Pass It Around may mark the end of Frankenreiter the artist, but it may also just be a stop for breath. Either way, it's an album that fans of laid-back, peaceful and easy singers will like. Not love but like, and that's OK.

Customer Reviews

The Evolution of Donavon

This is a great, great, great Album. Donavon put his heart and soul in creating and co-writing this album, in the quest of finding his musical identity, which in result, is an album filled with soulful melodies, uplifting grooves and infusing his signature sound of acoustic and electric elements of funky & fresh beats, and plenty of Donavon’s sexy soft raspy & mellow voice that never disappoints. Donavon’s newfound musical confidence in “Pass it Around” finally breaks away the Jack Johnson redundancy, which has followed his music for the last two albums and introduces us to Donavon’s newfound identity. Pass It Around truly is “a testament to Frankenreiter’s continuing evolution as an artist.”

Finally, some real music

Incredible grooves, perfect for sitting out on your deck and enjoying the weather. The drummer Craig Barnette is incredible and of course Donavon's smooth voice make for a nice combo!

Wow.

That is the only word I can think of right now to describe Donavon Frankenreiter's latest work, PASS IT AROUND. After the first album, I thought- it can't get any better. Then when he hit us with the wonderful MOVE BY YOURSELF, I thought- surely, it can't get any better. But, alas, this latest release has stunned me again with its beautiful musicianship and cool lyrics, that make you want to sit back and chill and get up and dance all at the same time. Kudos to Donavon and the band, you guys really made some amazing tunes. Thank you! I can't wait to see them performed live on your Fall tour!!!

Biography

Born: December 10, 1972 in Downey, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Before launching a solo career as the protégé of Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter began his professional life as a surfer. Born in Southern California on December 10, 1972, he landed a sponsorship with Billabong as a young teenager and moved to Hawaii when he was 14. There, he rented a home from the parents of Jack Johnson, a fellow surfer with an untapped musical talent. The two became fast friends, learning guitar together and hanging out between trips to the beach. Music was always a hobby...
Full Bio