If the first thing a movie-goer mentions about a film is the cinematography, it's an indication that the flick's story and characters aren't especially compelling. For CDs, the same concept applies to arrangements. Noticing them before the tunes register is a seldom a good sign, as Don't Worry About Me illustrates.
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Drabkin, who introduces his new disc at a songwriters-in-the-round event on Thursday, September 27, at Arvada's D Note, has a warm vocal style and loads o' sincerity. But his composing ability is surpassed by the settings he creates for his offerings. "Stay Here With You" and "Don't Come Around Anymore" stand out because of the lovely viola playing of the Flobots' Mackenzie Roberts. Likewise, the best moments in "A Small Time," "Inadequate" and "Lullaby" result from the preternatural interplay between Drabkin's guitar or piano and the tenor saxophoning of his father, Harry.
Would the tracks still work if they were stripped bare? Hard to say. Nice arrangements, though.