How could I ignore am album starting with a (for me) very special song released on a (for me) very special day? That’s already two arguments why I gave a deeper listen to Fragile by Dennis Durant. The vocal-driven recording has been released on 16th November 2023.
Dennis Durant – About The Artists
Dennis Rodney Durant is a multi-talented artist. Apart from working as a singer and composer, he is also a show host actor. Born in Germany as a son of a German mother and a US-American father, he is having dual citizenship. Especially in the the 1990’s and early 2000’s, 1970-born Durant was very active on stage as a theater and musical actor. His most famous role is like in the German version of Lion King in Hamburg, where he is nowadays living as well. Since 2005, his career is more shifting towards music. Durnt has already released eight studio albums, including collaborations.
Dennis Durant – Fragile – Track by Track
The eight song album lasts 30 minutes. The album is co-authored by jazz pianist and composer Zyunzo Garcia.
1. Don’t Stop Believin’
Don’t Stop Believin’ has been featured in my Songs of the Life, it is truly one of the songs, which causes most emotions in me. Thus, I was really curious about this very stripped-down, vocal-focused version of the Journey classic. I really love it – and I do “The Michigan” (fans of the musical Rock of Ages know what I mean…) even when the song is sounding slightly different.
2. Hey Laura
Hey Laura has been a big hit for Gregory Porter in 2013. The blues and jazz song feels even more personal and Fragile than the original – just as the title of Durant’s album is suggesting. The blues touch is fading a bit in it.
This song written by Leonard Cohen has been made popular in the mid-1960’s by Judy Collins. Out of the first three songs, it is my least favored one, honestly. I love the vocal performance by Durant, but this setup is always risking to take some spirit and soul from the story. This happens here a bit too much in my point of view.
4. A Question of Lust
One thing I really love about Fragile is the wide range of eras and original styles and artists, which Durant is dealing with. A Question of Lust is taking us to 1986 and Depeche Mode. Needless to say that this 2023 recording sets the song into a very different setting. I feel that here it works out perfectly (again), including the very nicely dramatic vocal performance.
Dreams might not be a too specific song title – but if you see Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen in the credits of the song, you see that this song used to rock hard. It is amazing that even a Van Halen song (even though it is not their hardest guitar smasher…) is working in the world of Fragile. Not my absolute favorite, but the most surprising song of the album to me.
6. If You Go Away
This song has originally been sung in French in 1959 and then translated to English by Rod McKuen. This song is naturally a bit closer to the atmosphere of the original. I love the very dramatic and emotional performance by Durant.
7. Both Sides Now
I recently featured the amazing Joni Mitchell cover project The Joni Project and their album Shades of Blue. Both Sides Now is another amazing original by the Canadian songwriter. Similar to the predecessor, I feel that Durant is doing especially well in the accentuation of the story. I simply love listening to the story from his perspective.
8. With Arms Wide Open
For the the last song, the US-American-German artist is heading back to rock music. Creed released this song in 1999. And it feels to be a perfect choice to close the album. I love closing my eyes and simply listening, enjoying.
Dennis Durant – Fragile – Spotify
Here is Fragile on Spotify:
Dennis Durant – Fragile – My View
After the short, slightly weaker spot in the third song, I struggled a bit whether I was right to pick this album for a review. After eight songs, Dennis Durant makes me feel like a fool. Fragile is exactly what a good cover and tribute album is about – exploring a song from a very different perspective. The artist does great in that.
Favorite Song: With Arms Wide Open (even though Don’t Stop Believin’ touches me most…)
Hamburg Postings in 2023