It’s been four years since we last heard from Donnie Vie, no? Well guess what my little chickadees? He’s baaaaaack, this time with a brand new studio album Beautiful Things (out now, Deko Music) that features a who’s who of guest stars. Paul Gilbert (MR. BIG), Mike LePond (MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS, SYMPHONY X), and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. from JELLYFISH all lend their considerable talents to Vie’s well-crafted blend of rock and pop and the results speak for themselves. The whole thing has a very summery vibe to it; I can see myself kicking back on my deck many a night with my trusty beer and shots by my side grooving to all these tracks.
First single “I Could Save the World” is the song Donnie says kicked the door open for the rest, and it is without a doubt one of my favorites on the disc. The uptempo rocker “Plain Jane” is sure to get people up and moving at a show, and will certainly have heads bobbin’ and toes tappin’ for those of you playing along at home. Hell, get up and move in your living room if you want, no law against it, people! When things slow down, like on piano ballad “Fly”, you can feel a poignancy and raw emotion in the music, something Vie has been able to convey for some 30 years now. “Tender Lights” has a country rock feel to it, and quite frankly it’s better than anything the males in that genre have done in a decade. Another winner in my book.
I think many of you are gonna dig the 60’s-influenced “I’ll Surrender”, “Breaking Me Down”, and title track “Beautiful Things” and you’d be right for doing so. Next up is another pair of songs I just can’t get enough of in “Whatever” and “Fallin’ Through the Pages.” Can’t say it enough, these are two perfect examples of power pop and rock/pop done right. I especially enjoyed the autobiographical lyrics of the former, while the latter has arguably the greatest hook on this whole shebang. “Back From the Blue” closes things once again with a piano ballad, and this one really tugs at the heartstrings, especially from a lyrical standpoint.
All in all this is an excellent record. Donnie Vie has put together a collection of songs that tap into a well of many emotions, dealing with life, love, happiness, and feeling the blues. The man himself had this to say about the album: “If you like cool aggressive pop, you will love this. I sure do. Share the love, stop the hate, and let’s save the world.” Sometimes things find you when you aren’t even looking for them. Welp…Beautiful Things is just like that. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it, yet here I am, hitting REPEAT. Welcome back, Donnie. You were certainly missed!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Whatever”, “Fallin’ Through the Pages”, “I Could Save the World”, “Tender Lights”, “Back From the Blue”