Speak Easy, Easy Listen
Donavon Frankenreiter’s third album, Pass It Around, is just what you would expect from a musician often compared to Jack Johnson and G. Love: a compilation of tracks that speak to the genuinely easygoing nature of its creator. In a short timeâ€šÃ„Ã®37 minutesâ€šÃ„Ã®Frankenreiter is able to reach any listener with a similar desire to kick back.Frankenreiter’s influences stem from harder classic rock, yet his surfing lifestyle transforms his work into soft, laid-back acoustics. This new album includes significant collaboration and more creative exploration and challenge than on previous ones. On Frankereiter’s website he explains, “I definitely had a lot of ideas and it was fun putting trust in other people,” including Ben Harper, G. Love, and Grant Lee Phillips.
The album begins with “Life, Love & Laughter,” an upbeat anthem to living for the moment: “Don’t look back, it won’t do any good / Don’t look ahead, you’ll just be misunderstood.” The simple instrumentation and rhythm amplify these still simpler lyrics. This track seems to epitomize Frankenreiter’s life and the life he wants his listeners to lead.
Other noteworthy tracks include “Mansions on the Sand” featuring Phillips, a successful metaphor for Frankenreiter’s surfer experience, and “Sing a Song” enhanced by G. Love’s harmonica. The theme of Frankenreiter’s album rings through on every track’s lyrics and music, “Take your time / Don’t live so fast.”
Although Pass It Around sounds much like his previous two albums, it is that sound (which is much less droning than some of the colleagues he works with here) that keeps committed listeners coming back. Frankenreiter’s website considers this an album filled with love, honesty, and experience: “I feel this is the best body of work Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve done. This is where I am now and where Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve come from.”