Waiting for the Smallest Spark

CD Cover Dan Clement

Review by Darren Gawle

If you didn't have the patience to really listen to what's going on here, you'd probably write Dan Clement off as yet more adult-oriented, middle-of-the-road, self-pitying sensitive-guy slop and go about your merry way. And your life wouldn't be any different, because certainly Waiting for the Smallest Spark isn't the album that's going to suddenly make everything in the world make sense, gluing all the factions in modern music back together in one great zeitgeist-capturing moment, just in time for the millennium. Substitute the term self-deprecating for self-pitying, though, and all of a sudden Waiting... becomes a very listenable album indeed.

Dan Clement, ex of Clambake and a regular feature at the Southhill Candy Shop, packs a welcome amount of Latin rhythms (bossanova, samba, rhumba) into his songs and garnishes liberally with double bass, muted trumpet and an acoustic guitar tone so rich it must run at 90 calories per gram. The lyrics sometimes run along the James Taylor / Jackson Browne "ramblin' man" line -- "Tumbleweed" features the clever "now my family tree's become a tumbleweed" lyric -- but from time to time something like the first verse of "Liar, Liar" pops up: "I should have been a little wise / Not look for truth between your thighs / Thought I fell for something higher / Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!"

You'll really never know how Dan can keep a straight face writing stuff like that, but hey, it shows he's got a sense of humour and a good attitude (the letter to Drop-D that accompanied the CD read "please go ahead and dismember my labour of love in front of all the world to see").

Like I said, it's a very listenable album, as long as you take the time.

Artist Contact Info: P.O. Box 75406, White Rock, B.C., Canada, danclement@orca.bc.ca

First published in Drop-D Magazine on May 18, 1998

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