Beginning with some synth-based rhythms that are by no means synthetic, Tri-Danielson, Vol. 2 runs and skips through a collection of songs that sees the Danielson Family coming further into their own, creating their own brand of pop-based worship and singling the band out as crazed innovators. Daniel Smith sounds especially inspired on the record, from the opening track, "Cutest Lil' Dragon," to the ending, "Deeper Than the Gov't." "Idiot Boxsen" is surely one of the strongest songs they have created, with the sisters providing some wonderfully eerie background vocals alongside the horns and flutes. Lyrically, Smith is in fine form, decrying the evils of television. Musically, they have really discovered a distinct sound in their girl group harmonies and general carnival-like atmosphere. There is the sound of soul music in here as well, although it may be a kind of carnival soul music. This is most apparent on "Failing a Test," which is about the fear of just that. During the sonorous violin drone of "Fruitful Weekend," you might notice a meshing together of genres that is not too far removed from the earliest cross-pollinations of Camper Van Beethoven. "Sold! To The Rich Man!" begins with a slight lyrical variation on "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" (recorded live with crowd and group singalong) before turning into a completely different song. These are the hoots and hollers of a revival or an especially slapdash campfire singalong. When Smith breaks into the repeated phrase "'Tis we, not me" during the closing "Deeper Than the Gov't," it pretty much sums up the feeling of the record: This is not just one man -- this is community.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jon Pruett