DeNicola might not be a household name, but he should be, because you’ve
probably heard his work in one form or another, whether you realize it or not.
And his new album is his debut solo record, but it’s not exactly clear to me
what’s all original and what is covered concerning both his own past works and
covers of other’s work on this disc. What is clear to me though, is DeNicola
has an illustrious past and from what some of that entails through his bio, he
is a songwriting force in which to be reckoned with across the globe for the
last four decades.
To completely cover it all, it would take a lot more space, but it’s important to know where he’s been and it makes all the sense in the world why he’s a superior artist but not well known to the indie world unless you peak behind these scenes. He’s also a world class producer with a fine release entitled; The Why Because, and it’s full of great music including some covers he’s been involved with as well as some others. But the masses would know of at least two of them he’s co-written, and they’re both on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
The album kicks off with the vibrant sound of “You’re The Only One,” which instantly shows the quality of both songwriting and studio performance along with the excellent production skills DeNicola possesses. Not having been a singer that much in his career, it comes as a surprise how good his voice is. “Everything You” follows in the same great fashion with a duet with female artist, Cassidy Ladden. These two tracks really get your attention going for what comes next, which starts to get most familiar to anyone listening.
“Hungry Eyes” should be known by even the most remote music fan, as the hit that was recorded by Eric Carman was co-written by DeNicloa and Franke Previte. It’s well placed in the third spot and it’s also a case of justice well done with not too much variation from the original. The next track is “In God’s Shadow” and it compliments all thus far with an amazing piece of soothing work. In fact, it runs at an epic over 6 minutes long and can be heard previously by John Waite. This is where it becomes evident that The Why Because is a brilliant collection of songs.
“People Make The World Go Around” is a cover of The Stylistics song written by Thom Bell, Linda Creed and George Perry, a big hit in 1972. It’s amazing how the vocals remind of the incomparable Bobby McFerrin, which is a compliment to DeNicola. And the guitar work on “Brand New Day” must be heard along with the eastern string influences on the album. Then it follows with “Butterfly” and “Wait.” These tracks are followed by “All In The Hands Of Grace” and “I am Not Willing.” But the grand finale is “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” which is also to DeNicola’s songwriting credit. And last-but not least this great album features several well- known musicians including the fantastic NY based drummer, Brian Delaney.