By Nora Swidler
“Take those boots off the shelf, wipe that dust off yourself. Even if you’ve been through hell, you’re back.” These are the opening words of Gavin DeGraw’s single “Everything Will Change” off his album “Make A Move.” In his fifth studio album, DeGraw once again tugs at the listeners’ heartstrings by appealing to our soft, mushy sides. During winter break, I finally got the chance to sit down with the album that came out in October.
Well, DeGraw certainly did not disappoint. The singer/songwriter collaborated with Ryan Tedder, lead singer of One Republic, to create the songs “Finest Hour” and “Need.” The two have the ability to bring a dark romanticism to their music that is as uplifting and inspiring as it is heartbreaking.
In songs like “Need” and “I’m Gonna Try,” the artist conveys his seemingly genuine desire to take care of the woman in his life. His protective instincts are shown in his lyrics, “baby when you wake up ’cause your bed is feeling cold, and you reach out, ’cause you want someone to hold, you will see what you need.” I don’t know about you, but I want this fellow to sing me a love tune.
DeGraw has a loyal fan base, but he has thus far fallen short of his superstar potential. This can be attributed to the four-year delay between his debut album “Chariot” and his second, self-titled album, “Gavin DeGraw.” As an enthusiastic follower of the singer, I am happy to assert that “Make A Move” is his best album since “Chariot.”
The beauty of Gavin DeGraw’s music is that he is noticeably devoted to the pairing of instruments and lyrics. What makes this album such a pleasure to listen to is that it is a concept album. Each song flows into the next in a seamless transition of catchy and fun to amorous and heavy.
In his usual musical flow, DeGraw is speaking about different individual women, but also appeals to the general nature of women. At times, I’m not sure whether he is referring to one woman who changed the game for him or a long string of passionate love affairs that inspired him to write his torrid tunes.
I suggest listening to all 11 songs on the album, beginning to end. So, get up, “Make A Move,” and go get this album.