Hailing from Ontario, Canada Dan Molson has been playing the bar scene for the last two decades. He played in a band called The Journeymen from 1998 until 2008 and then with The Chez106 Hoser’s Band in 2012. Most recently he released a solo album entitled Clear Water, which is a pretty basic no-frills rock/blues/pop hybrid. The songs revolve around the fundamental rock instruments such as bass, guitar, piano and drums.
Clear Water is a complete DIY effort and although the recording quality is a bit underwhelming compared to what you would expect from a professional studio the songs often work regardless. Clear Water wasn’t an album that jumped out at me. The songwriting is predictable, the hooks aren’t poppy enough where I completely took notice and Molson doesn’t have a impressionable voice. Suffice it to say it took me a couple of spins to appreciate some of the material. Some of it works and some of it falls a bit flat.
Molson opens up with a song that tips its hat to rock that lies somewhere between “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams and a couple of John Mellencamp tunes. Molson plays up the nostalgia with lyrics like “Now I dream of that clear water, of those warm and carefree days. A time when my mind would wander, dream of tomorrow. I long to be back at that clear water.” We have all heard its vibe and feel before.
Molson delves into more rock with “Eileen,” “Eyes Half Open” and “Closer To The Sun” while the “The Way You Look At Me” is a piano led song that contains the best vocal performance by Molson. As I played this album on repeat I kept on feeling like I was listening to Molson’s influences rather than Molson himself. There is nothing inherently wrong with the songwriting but it feels like it came from a pop/rock 101 handbook they hand you after you played in a cover band.
Molson is certainly a talent and Clear Water has a couple of inspired moments. That being said, I would like to hear a bit more originality from Molson his next time around.
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