Daniel DeWitt’s “Rule of Love”

Daniel DeWitt’s second installment in his Phantom series gets a more positive reaction from The Blue Indian.

Luke Goddard
Daniel DeWitt Rule of Love

out of 10

Daniel Dewitt
Rule of Love
August 7, 2012

While I confess I am anxiously anticipating the season premier of Sons of Anarchy (I may or may not aspire to be a member of an outlaw biker gang), Daniel DeWitt’s “Phantom Memory: The Musical” is tiding me over nicely. Seriously Kurt Sutter, take note.

When we left DeWitt, it was on the final chords of the classic rock tinged “Stomach on the Growl.” The second installment of “Phantom Memory” is “Rule of Love.”

The album’s first track “Meant to Be” is a rock opera worthy opening to Act II, full of strong guitar, unexpected stops, arrhythmic melody. “Start my Car” also plays into the triumphant segue, but these are divided by “Dive In” which reminds me of a nursery rhyme, and I confess, I don’t get it.

Moving into “You Do Not Betray,” the album gets its groove back with a short but optimistic track that conjures a distant memory of church on Sunday.

The album finishes strong with the namesake ballad “Phantom Memory,” which about halfway through harkens back to some of the high points of “Stomach on the Growl” and reminds us that Daniel DeWitt understands how to make good rock and roll.

Although my colleague argued that “Stomach on the Growl’ offered “nothing new here either musically or lyrically,” I’m particularly intrigued with DeWitt’s incorporation of musical flourishes reminiscent of some of my favorite numbers from “Jesus Christ, Superstar” or “Tommy.” “Phantom Memory: The Musical” has all the elements of a good rock-verging-on-rock-opera record.

I’d enjoy seeing DeWitt perform the album live in it’s entirety, and have to say that I enjoyed reviewing the record. While it is not lyrically complex or “new” for lack of a better term, there is something deliberate and intelligent in the run of the album. It’s like I’m trying to piece together my own phantom memories.

-Lindsey Whitefield, September 6, 2012