Originally Published at The Blue Indian on July 13, 2011.
To start, David Rosenfield’s Son of Ojito promises an interesting mix, a veritable gumbo, of poetry, folk, blues, punk-rock storytelling. The fourteen tracks seethe with pledges of unorthodox hippy ditties in the vane of mewithoutYou or Edward Sharpe, but ultimately fail to deliver the goods on that oath. The result is an album of busky, suitcase songs, tinged with open-mic emoting and Shel Silverstein jejunery.
This album was incredibly approachable and, for me, initially appealing. Lest you think I’m being too hard on this one, let me try to explain. I wanted to love it; I wanted to sink my teeth into the zanily imaginative snapshots. To put it culinarily: I wasn’t expecting fine dining. I wasn’t hungry for fillet or lobster. I didn’t expect silverware or cloth napkins. I was okay with that. It seemed Rosenfield’s album was to be some sort of fused streetfood, served in a corn tortilla out of the side of an old plumbing truck, alloying cultures and sensibilities. I readied my taste-(ear)buds, and prepared a makeshift bib out of a single-ply napkin, but when I took my first bite, it lacked the basics, the salt and the pepper, and the chicken was a bit on the pink side.
Underdeveloped, most tunes lacked the passion and believability they warranted. Sing It exudes some of the Danielsonian charm, laced with dormy acoustics and a campy chorus, that this artist and album are capable of. “Streetlights Playing Dixie” sounds like a song begun in one of John Darnielle’s old notebooks, while “The Cat’s Meowing” too bears some of the marks of playful potential.
Rosenfield will undoubtedly continue to cook. My hope is not only that these tunes continue to marinate and develop, but also that he hones his unique recipes into something even more square and satisfying.