Dan Mariska - It's All Okay
Record Label: Self released
Release Date: January 5th, 2012
Dan Mariska's ten track full length debut is an acoustic extension of clever melodies, empirical accents, and relaxing guitars. It took a while to grow on me but once it did, I realized... there's something here.
Modest openers "Okay I" and "Okay II" set the pace: calm, collected, congenial. Pseudo-title track "Okay II," an interlude with a patterned melody, serves as a prologue for the record. It's slightly entrancing, a feeling that grows exponentially as the song swells into a fervid final minute.
Reverie "Just Enough" was a standout from first listen, boasting a savory ending with Mariska singing, "It's another rising sun, the marking of what is to come / but what it is you'll never know, that anxious stirring in your soul... ." Coupled with the Rogue Wave-ish "Never Ever Again," the two make a great pair.
"Girlhouse" seems to come from absolutely nowhere and is the clear victor over the entire record. It has the catchiest chorus I've heard since Kevin Devine's "No Time Flat" and was stuck in my head for days: "Tell the kids on the couch to wake up / grab their things and get the fuck out / the party's over get on home... ." Is it stuck in your head, yet? You're welcome.
"Where The Line Takes You" helps carry the back end of the album with its mellow tune and positive exposition. It will hit home with anyone who has ever rethought life decisions and wondered "what if..." or "if only... ." The chorus rings with Mariska chanting, "Go go go where your heart tells you / because who can decide where the lines goes? / Only your heart knows."
It's All Okay is harmoniously pleasing and a surefire escape for any listener. Where it falls short musically, it shines lyrically, but this is not always a reliable backup. Parts of the album may seem a bit vapid, but Mariska did a great job selecting the order of the tracks and he keeps the pace. He shows great promise in his songwriting and I look forward to what he has to offer in the future.
Mariska actually just released a 7" with a full band. It's worth checking out. "Stupid Fucking World" is a great tune.