On Dan Reeder's 2004 debut album, he had a song called "Food and Pussy." On his new one he's got back-to-back songs called "Pussy Titty" and "Pussy Heaven." You might deduce from this that Dan Reeder has a one-track-mind, but you'd be wrong. Reeder's mind has lots of tracks. Like the beer track, for example. Not only does he declare that "I Like Beer," but he also places a nice drawing of a beer mug on the album cover. None of this should give the impression that Reeder focuses only on life's more primal needs, though (for what else, after all, are sex and beer?). He really has plenty to say in general, and most of it's pretty smart and meaningful stuff. He says it all rather well too, without the help of anyone else, on this sophomore effort. Sometimes he's rather quirky -- in the album-opening "Waiting for My Cappuccino," he insists he's been sitting there since 1969 (did cappuccino even exist in 1969?) while another customer's only had to wait a year. At other times he seems a bit bummed: When he puts in the request "Shoot Me to the Moon," it's not because he wants to be an astronaut but rather that he's explored all earthly options. Elsewhere he declares "Just Leave Me Alone Today," and you probably won't want to push the issue. And don't even think to ask why his doctor has informed him "You'll Never Surf Again" because you're never going to find out. Reeder's dusky, lived-in voice, which he often multi-tracks, is the ideal medium for the conveyance of these pinpointed messages, and the sparse accompaniments -- often just Reeder's lone acoustic guitar, joined on occasion by sax, harmonica, and some things he's labeled trash bass, trash fiddle, and paper banjo -- are really all he needs to get by. If you don't think that can possibly be enough, his closing workup of Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale," the album's only cover, should do the convincing. Imagine that opulent piece of churchy classic rock stripped down to a minimalist, folksy acoustic guitar, harmonica, and vocal core. The song's elegance is wildly reconfigured, but its somber soulfulness is intact. Reeder may be a loner in the studio, but you may find yourself wanting to share him with others once you've spent a little time with him.
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AllMusic Review by Jeff Tamarkin