Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele is quite a delicious listen, he plays tuneful ukulele-drenched retro pop that will definitely be appealing to any fans of Jens Lekman, Beirut or Sufjan Stevens. His music is a melting pot of influences mainly from the 50s drawing from vintage doo-wop, Tropicália, and a classic American crooner sensibility that is reminiscent of Glenn Campbell.
The Feel Good Music of Dent May is a perfect name for the album. Every song has a sunny ukulele composition and simple yet endearing lyrics that, when augmented by a band, produces a wonderfully laid back vibe. What better way to kick off such an accessible album than a song called “Welcome”? An acapella number where Dent May introduces you to his album and it’s themes, it’s a warm welcome that flows perfectly in to “Meet Me At The Garden” -- which is one of the strongest and most charming songs on the record with it’s maracas, ukulele and marimba vibe. “Oh Paris” has Dent adding some horns to the mix, creating a quirky marching band quality that when incorporated with the ukulele and background shooby doobies, generates an appealing backdrop for his thoughtful croon of “I finally know/ That I belong here in this world.” In the bluesy, doo-wop number “Girls On The Square”, dual electric guitars solo together in Queen-like fashion that oddly meshes quite well with the melodramatic vocals of the song. “God Loves You Michael Chang” and “I’m An Alcoholic” are humorous songs that shows Dent’s funny-side and his ability to weave them into his delivery in a thoughtful manner.
Admittedly, the use of the ukulele does get a little repetitive by the end of the album, but the charming quality of Dent May’s composition holds my interest through the full CD. He definitely has a unique style that is as quirky as a Wes Anderson film. For those of you looking for a little feel good music to cheer you up, Dent May has revitalized the classic American crooner for the 21st century and given it a geeky hipster edge that makes this an extremely delightful listen.