March: Dan Mangan – Oh Fortune

Happy March, and after a short but very enjoyable couple a months of classic albums I’m bringing the clock forward by a few years.

Let me introduce you to Dan Mangan and his most recent effort from last year; Oh Fortune.

Dan Mangan was my most listened to artist last year. I don’t particularly remember if I liked this whole album at once or bit by bit. Either way it has become a very old friend that I continually come back to.

For me Dan Mangan isn’t your run of the mill folk singer. What I love about him is that he seems to have a wonderful way of letting you into the honesty and thoughts of his world. I love how he lays little gems of fantastic lyrics throughout his songs that sometimes you have to dig for, but are wonderful and very touching at times when you find them.

If you google him you will find a fair bit of accolade from across the globe and a few interesting documentaries as well… but I encourage you to leave that for now. Just give a bit of time to ‘Oh Fortune’ in the car, on the tube orwhilst you’re knocking about the house.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have brothers and I look forward to your feedback.

Unknown

3 comments

  1. misterstory

    All quiet on the Western Front? Not heard a peep out of the brothers on this one. I’ll kick things off. I was a bit apprehensive when I heard this was coming. I have a bit of a ‘thing’. We all have our things don’t we. Preconceptions that we bring into each and every album of the month. Its impossible not to when you love music and you’re our age.The preconceptions that I bought into this album were a bit harsh and unfounded as every good preconception should be. I have a theory that there are less singer songwriters (particularly of the ‘acoustic type’) without record deals than there are with deals. About 10 years ago anyone with a guitar who didn’t look repulsive was signed up. What that resulted in wasn’t a wash of bad music. It just meant there was a shit load of very average music out there. Very little raised it’s head above the mediocrity but admittedly when it did it was great and we all have our favourites (probably all different too).So with Mr. Mangan my initial response was that it was decent quality, well produced but a little beige for my liking. The album has grown on me. Stacey likes it on in the car and I think I do too. I have grown to like this much more than I initially did and would suggest it to folk who like this kind of thing.However, my favorite tracks are probably so because the production reminds me of Micah P Hinson at his best, or the instrumentation reminds me of Tuung or his voice reminds me of Johnny Cash (only one track). This does feel a bit like a big folk-country-rock mash up and due to this I find it hard to ‘believe’ in what he has to say. I think this will always stop me from really wanting to listen to this with real passion. I do rate ‘believing’ in the emotion of an artist above all other elements and am willing to overlook faults because I am emotionally attached. This means that this reaction to the album may very well be just me.Thanks for the album though Brother Kane.

  2. Guy Hornsby

    I’m here. And I’ve listened to it 5 or 6 times now. It’s warming nicely. I see where you’re coming from Brother Joseph, and it’s not the sort of thing that I’d usually go for, but there’s strains of things I love in there. I just haven’t got to grips with the whole thing. The opening track is sensational. I clicked with it the first time I heard it, as if I’d heard it somewhere before. Maybe I had. It sounded like the closing credits from a film, in fact it’s one of those songs that when you listen to it, you feel like you’re in one. It’s quite addictive. The album can’t keep up to those high standards, but that’s not a big problem. It’s just enjoyable. But it’s not flawless. I hate hate HATE Mumford and Sons, and there’s bits on it that I just can’t help but associate with them, and that’s a hard thing to shake. And Mangan’s voice is distinctive, which sometimes almost means it takes the focus away from the lyrics and the music, but overall I like this a lot, and it something I want to keep listening to. Good choice, Brother Nolan.

  3. David Allison

    Apologies for tardiness in getting involved, was hitting a deadline on a first draft last week.I don’t think I’ve ever struggled to work out what I think of an album more than with this one. First time I listened, I didn’t like it AT ALL. Then by the third time, I thought I REALLY liked it. Now I’m sort of waning again.As Joey says, the singer songwriter thing is such a complicated beast – you have to have such a personal relationship with the artist and it all boils down to whether you buy their schtick or not. Mangan’s work brings a lot of artists to mind that I really like – from Grizzly Bear to Sufjan Stevens to Neutral Milk Hotel (now THERE’s an album we should try sometime) – but I can’t work out if he’s more or less than the sum of his parts.I generally really like the arrangements (VERY Neutral Milk Hotel) and the brass and strings and all that – but I wonder if his songwriting isn’t a bit woolly. And by the fifth or sixth song, I felt a kind of sameyness in both his voice and his songs that begins to wear me down. So I suppose he’s not quite connecting with him as much as he might. Certainly more than, say, Josh Rouse did, but not as much as the artists I mentioned.It’s certainly a good, solid album. But perhaps Guy is right – I’m a bit scared, all the way through, that I might just be listening to a Mumford song by accident. And that is a terrifying thought.But ask me again in a week and I might have changed my mind again!

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