Dan Mangan
Oh Fortune


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Allen USER (12 Reviews)
October 29th, 2011 | 35 replies | 5,502 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What is this sorrow?

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

There is something perfectly re-assuring when Dan Mangan makes his entrance on “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Helpful At All,” setting the stunning tone of his third record. Calm, collected, and undeniably poignant, Mangan’s distress radiates through his serene vocals and haunting lyricism, bringing to life the true meaning of folk music. With this in mind, it has been tragic seeing Mangan’s Postcards and Daydreaming and Nice, Nice, Very Nice going virtually unnoticed over the past four years, as both of these records demonstrated that Mangan was as good at doing the singer/songwriter thing as just about anyone. Yet if those releases could be at fault for anything, it was the simplicity of a typical folk album that each brought to light, as fine as both were. Mangan was missing something. Something that could spark his excellent, but underappreciated career. So coming into contact with Oh Fortune’s gorgeous opener, that feeling of reassurance is sure to strike Mangan’s faithful, as that third dimension is revealed.

For those that had a gripe with Mangan’s lack of musical virtuosity, Oh Fortune features a heavily orchestrated framework that accentuates his vocals and lyricism magnificently. Tracks such as “Post-War Blues” and “Rows of Houses” indicate that Oh Fortune is very much alive; delivering a much more thrilling listen than we have seen from Dan Mangan. The former track especially strays from the typical open-chords played on an acoustic guitar and is amplified by searing leads, thundering orchestration, and the introduction of horns. “Post-War Blues” is the type of track that would have seemed out of place in Mangan’s library previously, but blends into the release perfectly. The record’s musical underscore however, could very well be its centerpiece, “Starts With Them, Ends With Us,” which is constantly building itself up and coming back down. “Starts With Them, Ends With Us” finally climaxes with a clash of trumpets, percussion, and guitars, which fall into place after Mangan’s utterances of “The cancer is wide and has taken my trust, do what we will and will what we must.”

With the reinforcement of Mangan’s sound, one would assume that his lyricism had suffered as a result, but the Vancouver native has certainly not lost a step in this regard. Oh Fortune spends a great deal of time dealing with death, something that can easily be related to. Whether it is about the death of someone close, or what is to happen after life as portrayed in “If I Am Dead,” Oh Fortune conveys Mangan’s grief with flying colors. The record culminates with heart-wrenching closer “Jeopardy,” with Mangan resonating “Where did I go? Where did I go? What is this sorrow? What is this sorrow?”

Predominantly a folk artist on Postcards and Dreaming and Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Mangan is maturing as a musician with Oh Fortune, bringing an entirely refreshing perspective to his already illustrious career. Incorporating his powerful lyricism and tranquil vocals into an orchestrated and “full” sound, Oh Fortune is Mangan’s most intriguing record to date. At this point, it isn’t clear that Mangan will be able to come into the focus of a larger audience, but those who haven’t paid attention to Mangan at least to some degree, are the one’s trailing.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Caleb McAlpine (4.5)
bring fortune to spare...

Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
In which Dan Mangan perfects his unique craft and rises above his contemporaries....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mallen-
October 29th 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally posted on http://www.thealtreview.net/

New site, check it out

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2011



7313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review as always Mike.

Post War Blues is a fine song.

theacademy
October 29th 2011



28232 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

prefer nnvn but this is pretty good

Gyromania
October 29th 2011



15187 Comments


Great review, Mike - I'm surprised you hadn't received a pos vote until now.

AtavanHalen
October 30th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck I love Dan. So much.

DurzoBlint
October 30th 2011



1170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck I love Dan. So much. [2]

Also good review ^_^ glad to see another one up for this! After many, many listens I still prefer NNVN's lyrics and basket can't really be beaten for me by anything here in that regard. However I prefer the bands contributions on this album, they did a really good job.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

awesome! I didn't realize anyone else was going to review this. nice work man, hopefully the EVedder27 stamp of approval will convince more people to check out this amazing album.

concering the review, great stuff Mike! pos for sure. we seem to feel more or less the say way about this album and his "full" sound as you put it. (bump the ratingggggggg)

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

gyro check this album out man (and uh the other review for it haha I'M A WHORE)

mallen-
October 30th 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rating is prob staying here Aidsy

Still easily a top 10-15 for this year

BigTuna
November 6th 2011



5154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this man and his music.

Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

Waior
November 7th 2011



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is GREAT

mallen-
November 7th 2011



1235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES, Waior on board.


Also, Tuna how the fuck are you?

Waior
November 8th 2011



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I haven't seen Tuna in a long time.

And my friend showed this to me a while ago when we were driving through the rockies in bc... caught me by surprise

patrickfannon
November 30th 2011



886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What an excellent, well written, coherent review, Mike. And for such an astonishingly fantastic record, to boot. I have a special place in my heart for Nice, Nice, Very Nice, as I listened to it during a very rough patch in my life, but this has the potential to grow into a 5 for me. It's eloquent, insightful, rich, nuanced, textured and full of the inherent joy that makes me love music so very much in the first place. Glad to see Dan getting his due.

Digging: A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders

AtavanHalen
November 30th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Find my tulips in the darkness

patrickfannon
November 30th 2011



886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Atavan, it was your review of Nice, Nice, Very Nice that got me into Mangan in the first place. Thanks, man.

DurzoBlint
November 30th 2011



1170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im still waiting on a review for postcards and daydreaming...

I would write one myself but I feel it would not be as good as the man deserves / others can write.

AtavanHalen
November 30th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All I can do is spread the love.

patrickfannon
December 1st 2011



886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Much obliged, sir. After listening to this a few more times, I definitely like it a bit less than Nice, Nice. It's a fantastic record, don't get me wrong, but Nice, Nice is just phenomenal and stays in my head longer. It's going to be hard for him to top it, I think.

AtavanHalen
December 1st 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah



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