It might take a second glance to realize this isn't THAT Donovan, the hippy dippy troubadour of "Mellow Yellow" fame, but rather THIS Donavon (note spelling difference), one with a tongue-twister of a surname. Truth be told, the two share similar sensibilities, namely a penchant for easy, breezy melodies and a fondness for a laidback lifestyle. And if there's any doubt about what inspires Donavon the younger's dayglo designs, then consider the fact that he's not only a musician but a diehard surfer dude who... get this... actually named his kids Ozzy and Hendrix. That's some groovy guy!
Still, Frankenreiter's template leans more towards mellow fellow than mellow yellow, at least in terms of its potential appeal. Despite any herbal inference suggested by its title, Pass It Around
should find a good fit on any of the various adult contemporary and jazz lite formats that populate the radio dial these days. Songs such as "Life, Love & Laughter," "Hit the Ground Running " and "Sing A Song" offer a giddy view of the good life, with Frankenreiter's breathy vocals falling somewhere between James Taylor and John Mayer in terms of a gentle caress. And when he opts for a tropical touch - as with the sunny sway of "Come With Me' or the lilting south of the border ballad "Your Heart" - the good vibes he passes around manage to linger long after.Standout Tracks
: "Your Heart," "Life, Love & Laughter," "Sing a Song" 8/20/2008