Daniel Romano’s Outfit creates a masterpiece with recent release, How Ill Thy World Is Ordered. The soft folk-rock album bleeds truthful lyrics and is somehow both nostalgic and intriguing during its eleven tracks.
Daniel Romano is a Canadian artist who grew up in a household full of folk and country music. Starting Attack in Black with his brother in high school and drumming in City and Colour, he got into the music scene at a young age. His first solo album released in 2010, shortly followed by his next in 2011. He has since then released much more and continues to write and record. This year alone he has already released nine albums, proving himself to be a songwriting machine with endless ideas. His backing band is also included on this album, a combination referred to as Daniel Romano’s Outfit. The Outfit includes vocalists Julianna Riolino, guitarist David Nardi, bassist Roddy Rossetti, and drummer Ian Romano. In addition, vocalist Briana Salmena, organist and pianist Mark Lalama, saxophone player Victor Belcastro, and trumpet player Aaron Hutchinson also make appearances on the release.
How III Thy World Is Ordered is a unique folk rock album with Beatles-like harmonies, tasteful horn parts, and intriguing lyrics. The song titles alone hint at the interesting sound produced by Daniel Romano and The Outfit. Opening with a song called “A Rat Without A Tale” and closing with “Amaretto And Coke”, the album does not lack creativity. Each song is bursting with influences from 60s and 70s rock, making it an album to be loved by many.
The September 18 release, How III Thy World Is Ordered, is composed of eleven tracks of gold. Romano has mastered the balance between taking influences from older rock, such as the Beatles, and creating his own sound. His bright voice is easy to listen to, which he often backs with full-sounding harmonies. He surrounds his vocals with a large variety of instruments, including synth, horns, and a blues-style guitar. The album has lyrics like no other, giving listeners more than just sappy love songs. Each song is unique and has a personality of its own, begging to be listened to. Romano creates a signature sound that can be found in every track, while still writing diverse instrumentals for each one. How III Thy World is Ordered is an interesting, satisfying, and easy album to digest.
“Drugged Vinegar” is a masterpiece of its own. It immediately caught my attention with its heartbeat-like drumming at the start and rich vocals. Soft horns make appearances throughout the chorus, not enough to distract, but enough to help create a big sound. Backed by strings, an impressive synth solo pops up between the chorus and second verse. It differs enough from the rest of the folk album to make your ears perk up, but somehow fits perfectly in this track. “Drugged Vinegar” carries nostalgic feelings and is a song that deserves to be on repeat. The blues guitar, surrounded by strings and beautiful harmonies, gives a sense of old, fond memories. The lyrics do not exactly fit with this pretty description, but are very interesting nonetheless. This is a song like no other, balancing an incredibly serious topic with a light-hearted and nostalgic sound.
The title track, “How Ill Thy World Is Ordered”, is another example of Romano’s impressive lyrics floating overtop of his magical instrumentals. Taking on a heavier rock sound, the organ and guitar blast throughout the chorus while Romano sings about the world’s problems. You can choose just about any song on this album and be pleasantly surprised by both the lyrics and the intricate instrumentals behind them. The horns in “First Yoke” are playful, the melody line in “Never Yet In Love” melts your heart, and the organ in “Green Eye Shade” adds an element of mystery. There is no shortage of musicianship in How Ill Thy World Is Ordered, for each song brings an entirely new set of ideas to the album.
Another track I really enjoy on this album is “Amaretto And Coke”. The song is a soft ballad about the well-liked cocktail and the enjoyment that comes from drinking it. Longer than any other song by over a minute, it takes its time closing the album and does a tasteful job. Basking in its full folk nature, the song features an accordion sound and soft harmonies. It is one of the easiest songs to consume and puts the mind at ease. Romano and The Outfit have created a perfect song to finish off their folk-rock album, and bless our ears by making it almost seven minutes long.
I am incredibly impressed by this album and am very thankful I have been introduced to the wonderful artist Daniel Romano. I love how his unique lyrics and nostalgic instrumentals pair so well together and create such a satisfying listen. “Drugged Vinegar” has been on repeat for a few days and I’m sure it will continue this way for many more. How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is an album to be cherished and an accomplishment Daniel Romano’s Outfit should be very proud of.