On the front cover of Stand Up, the Del Fuegos third album, lead singer and guitarist Dan Zanes looks as if he's struggling to stay awake, and it seems sadly indicative of a band that was clearly running out of steam. While guitarist Warren Zanes and Tom Lloyd had contributed to the songwriting on the Del Fuegos' first two albums, on Stand Up Dan wrote all the songs either by himself or with outside contributors (among them producer Mitchell Froom), and with a third guitarist, a handful of guest musicians, a horn section and six backing vocalists contributing to the sessions, this album simply doesn't sound like the work of the same band that made The Longest Day and Boston, Mass. It doesn't help that Dan Zanes' voice sounds a bit ragged here, and while having Tom Petty and James Burton contribute guitar work to the album certainly seemed like a great idea at the time, the songs just aren't up to what this band was capable of and the performances lack the energy and keen focus of their best work. Between the arrangements and the melodic hooks of tunes like "Wear It Like a Cape" and "A Town Called Love," it's clear that Dan Zanes was embracing his R&B influences while making Stand Up, but his voice just isn't up to the challenge of the material, and the oddball experiment "He Had A Lot to Drink Today" simply sounds like a mistake. Warren Zanes and drummer Woody Geissman would both leave the Del Fuegos after Stand Up failed to make an impression with either critics or fans, and it's not hard to imagine why -- this album is the sound of a band that has clearly lost the plot.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming