Last Texas Platters of 2014
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Dec. 26, 2014
Danny Malone gets to the crux of Speeddreamer with one simple refrain: "I'm an artist, I do what I want, when I wanna." The four-track cassette grit of his third offering, epitomized by "I'm an Artist," departs sharply from decadent 2013 LP Balloons. Rather than the ghostly layers of pop on his previous effort, Speeddreamer takes lessons from the demure picking of Elliott Smith in songs such as "Limbo," a sensibility he marries with his penchant for love songs in "Junebug." The local singer-songwriter doesn't rest the album on acoustic guitar, however. The title track demonstrates incredible restraint for a sometimes lavish artist with only an analog tick and faint piano melody, carried too in the garbled drum machine of "Haunted, My Only." As usual, Malone's strength lies in cryptic lyrics, but "Bottom of the Lake" unfurls a clear narrative arc rarely employed by the enigmatic songwriter to revelatory effect.