The fifth studio album from Don Amero showcases the Manitoba songwriter at his best yet - truly, Refined.
When Don Amero dropped the first single and video, "Love Like That," last month, we dug that there was a taste of what we and audiences have grown to know and love (and occasionally swoon over) Amero for - i.e. sweet, smooth, acoustic-pop love songs.
But once we got a hold of the complete 10 track album, "Refined," we discovered a lot more.
From five seconds in with the piano-struck downbeat of the first and title track, Amero establishes he's standing on confident footing as a songwriter and performer. Over the course of the album his warm tenor voice maintains his familiar gentle warmth, but also showcases a newly developed strength, range, and flexibility, often supported masterfully by lush but not overwhelming harmonies. Musically Amero still nails his signature mix of acoustic, roots, and pop music, the stuff that earned him the description of "John Mayer meets Keith Urban", while also satisfyingly dipping into a bit of soul and rock.
While Amero does deliver solid feel-good and bittersweet love songs like the first single, and the duet with the one and only Crystal Shawanda "Broken Hearts," on this album he's exploring the outcome of life's bigger challenges and lyrically he weaves messages of struggle, survival, and adversity. At times it's heartbreaking, like in "Falling Shouldn't Feel That Way," but in the soulful organ and horn filled "On Down the Road," the driving "Let Them See You Smile," and the simple to triumphant arc of "Won't Give Up," Amero's message is fuelled with encouragement, positivity, and an eye on resilience, if not healing.
The album title and title track are a fine thesis statement - that living through hardship and change can result in a stronger self. Hitting new levels of writing, delivery, and production, Amero is clearly living what he sings about - chipping away, pushing through, and coming out the other side Refined.
Stream the exclusive first listen now, and check out Don Amero's Canadian CD release tour dates below.
Stream Don Amero’s New Album “Refined”
DON AMERO TOUR DATES - SPRING & SUMMER 2015
Tuesday April 28th - Halifax, NS at The Carleton Thursday April 30th - Wolfville, NS at The Al Whittle Theatre Saturday May 2nd - Halifax, NS - House Concert Tuesday May 5th - PEI - House Concert Tuesday May 19th - Peterborough, ON - The Garnet on Hunter Friday May 22nd - London, ON - The London Music Club Saturday May 24th - Guelph, ON - Lakeside Church Wednesday June 3rd - Rosebud, AB - The Gallery Thursday June 4th - Calgary, AB - The Ironwood Saturday June 6th - Calgary, AB - House Concert Friday June 12th - Winnipeg, MB - The West End Cultural Centre Saturday June 20th - Winnipeg, MB - Aboriginal Day Live Thursday June 25th - Atlin, BC - The Globe Theatre Friday June 26th - Whitehorse, YK - The Old Fire Hall Saturday June 27th - Prince George, BC - House Concert Wednesday July 1st - Vancouver, BC - Canada Day Event