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CD REVIEW: Dale Turner - Mannerisms Magnified
By Cyrus Rhodes - 08/31/2010 - 05:18 PM EDT

Artist: Dale Turner
Album: Mannerisms Magnified
Label: Intimate Audio
Genre: Progressive Rock and Instrumental Rock
Sounds Like: Lou Reed, Queen, King Crimson, They Might Be Giants, Frank Zappa
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Morality Rule, Taken, Five Things
Weakness: Repetitive Vocal Delivery, Vocals lack luster
CD Review:

Los Angeles native Dale Turner releases his latest release: Mannerisms Magnified in June, 2010. Turner not only produced the CD himself but also played all the instruments (voice, guitar, bass, acoustic drums, piano, accordion & mandolin) He also wrote all the material. Influences include Sufjan Stevens, Jeff Buckley, King’s X, Mr. Bungle & Bobby McFerrin just to name a few.

Logging in at just over 42 minutes the CD takes to flight with melodic intro piece “Brian on the Brian” this piece merges into track 2 “Bad Seed” a unique intro piece that serves up progressive rock groove, with dynamic musical flow & ebbing coupled with hooky harmonies & impressive vocal accents from Turner. Track 3 “Sooner or Later you’ll hate Her” shifts gears a bit with it’s pulsating rock groove meshed against unique sounding melody. Track 4 “She Hab” lets it all hang with it’s eccentric musical delivery, mesmerizing vocal reinforcements & thought provoking lyrical content As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Lou Reed, Queen, King Crimson, They Might Be Giants, XTC, & even brief splashes of Frank Zappa. Right from the start you will notice Turner feels quite comfortable letting it all hang out, not holding anything back with respect to his expression. The overall musical signature is quite unique & hard to pigeonhole right away. Those who enjoy listening to musical curve balls, & off-time rock grooves will get a kick out of this catalogue. I would classify this music as acoustic-folk rock with vibrant melody & Musical textures layered everywhere. Turner's’ musicianship is pretty solid across the board as he writes, & plays his parts extremely well. Beside the 4 piece standard delivery you will also notice lush layers of instrumentation layered along the way with impressive piano, accordion & mandolin accents His vocal harmonies are extremely creative & well placed, as well as being well executed. The songs themselves are addictive, infectious & are extremely unpredictable. Song for song, you never really know what’s around the next corner. Dive deeper into the lyrical content you will discover even more mysteries. No doubt the true meanings of some of these songs is buried deep within the lyrical content.  Turner’s voice works well across the board & at times will remind you of classic Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Jeff Buckey. yet has a signature all it’s own that really transcends pigeonholed. All songs are short & sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. From melancholy pieces “Hiding Place” & Taken” to eccentric songs “Morality Rule”, Saboteur” & “Exit Wound” to bluesy ditties “Five Things” & “civil Lies” this CD pretty much has something for everyone.

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses when listening to Mannerisms Magnified. Though Turner does delivers some truly brilliant vocal harmonies, his falsetto & predictable vibrato will take a major toll on you over time. Rather than take the conservative approach, Turner elects to splash it everywhere. Eventually you come to a place where you just roll with it. Overall Turners’ voice lacks honey-coated luster, & is somewhat repetitive & predictable in it’s overall delivery.

Needless to say Mannerisms Magnified is a brilliant snapshot of music. It’s strong suit – it's rock solid consistency, song for song unpredictability, & musical brilliance of Dale Turner.  The music is highly original, creative, extremely melodic, & like the aforementioned unpredictable as hell. You will have no idea what waiting for you around the next corner – that’s the best part of this musical experience. Equally as impressive is the songwriting virtuoso of Dale Turner. It’s a huge undertaking to write, play & produce all the music himself. My hats off to Turner for taking all this on as it took him nearly 4 years to accomplish. I really admire artists out there who are themselves & just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Dale Turner is one of these artists. So if you’re looking for a tripped out musical experience that offers rich melodic variety, brilliant songwriting, & total  unpredictability then I highly recommend you jump head first into Mannerisms Magnified by Dale Turner as soon as possible.   

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