On his 2004 self-titled debut, singer/songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter settled into relaxed, blithe acoustic pop stylings produced by his friend Jack Johnson. The album spawned the hit “Free,” but the erstwhile pro surfer discovered a more imaginative musical approach in his last album, 2006’s self-produced Move By Yourself. That drive and energy continues to develop on his third release, the new Pass It Around.
Frankenreiter's confidence is bolstered by producer Joe Chiccarelli, who introduces fresh sounds (check out the spirited mariachi horns in “Your Heart”), and some special guests – Ben Harper on the title track; G. Love, who adds harmonica on the easygoing ditty “Sing A Song”; and Grant Lee Phillips on “Mansions On The Sand,” a sweet, melodious song about the sea. Other highlights include the opening “Life, Love & Laughter” and the casual soul of “Too Much Water.”
Pass It Around sounds smoother and less individual than Frankenreiter’s original beach vibe, but it’s a solid, upbeat collection – a fine summer listen.