Review: DAN MANGAN // Nice, Nice, Vey Nice
December 4, 2009
His new album Nice, Nice, Very Nice has been a slow burner. At first his plaintive and very literal lyrics put me off, Dan’s delivery straight as an arrow. But I’m getting used to it and getting into it. I’ve come to appreciate the unflinching honesty and self-histories. The directness. I think we need more honesty in music right now.
There’s no pretense or bullshit. Just a man, writing songs about the world he experiences. This has been done a thousand times before, but these songs hold up, and the production holds up, and everything feels like a sign of good things to come. I’m on my 4th time through the album, and find that I smile more and more with each listen.
The pulse of Road Regrets serves as a great invocation. Robots lets down, but is quickly made up for with The Indie Queens Are Waiting – a duet with Veda Hille. Veda’s bird-like voice contrasts Dan’s rustic intimacy perfectly. Sold picks up where Road Regrets left off, frantic hand claps and all. Fair Verona and Et Les Mots Croises highlight the middle of this album, with their effectual and ever-personal passages. Set The Sails aches with the high hopes and sordid failures of Vancouver, personified and reflective.
Nice, Nice, Very Nice harkens back to the idealistic days of mid 90’s Canadian folk. And it announces the arrival of a talented new troubadour onto our national scene.