Vie - Just Enuff
Don E. Vie's debut solo album is a very
pop-oriented disc filled with great lyrics and hooks. Musically, he's mostly
removed himself from his hard rock background, and in the recording he
seems to genuinely be enjoying the freedom allowed by going solo. 'Just
Enuff!' is surprisingly diverse for the mild-mannered pop album it is,
with elements of hard rock, country, and of course, some great ballady
moments. Here's a quick track by track:
A very revealing, soul-searching song
with a country twang. This is Donnie exploring a different element musically,
and also him at the top of his game. It's not a strong opener though, simply
because of the tempo.
A slower ballady track, about lost love.
A touching track, with amazing lyrics and Don's voice couldn't sound better
or more emotional.
The ballad of Vie ballads. Most fans will
instantly love the song, but some might be slightly put off because it
could be seen as a little TOO sappy.
Jesus In Drag
A cool rock song, with deep lyrics that
I would probably need his input to fully understand. An album highlight,
but then again, most of these songs are.
This song is power pop at its finest:
Instantly catchy and forever memorable. This is my favorite track on the
I'll Go On
A very layered, dream-like song that has
an obvious John Lennon influence.
Alice In A Jam
Another cool track, this one uses an Alice
In Wonderland metaphor as the basis for a girl's troubles. A nice story
driven track with clever lyrics, nice use of sitar, and is of course, melodic
and catchy as hell.
Don't Bring Me Down
Probably the heaviest track on the CD,
and it's a great one. Funny, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, driven by an electric
guitar that's stretching one note throughout the chorus in a very simple
but effective manner.
That's What Love Is
A slow ballad with only an acoustic guitar
and minor instrumentation. A sweet song that displays the ironies of love
that the songwriter has experienced.
A U.S. only bonus track that really has
no definable moment to make it memorable. For me, it's just a boring song
that drags on and on.
Blowin' Kisses In The Wind
A very fun, upbeat, optimistic song, which
really makes it stand out. The song would be great on it's own merit, but
definitely helps close out the album with a needed smile.
A track that's comparable to 'That's What
Love Is' due to it's pace and lack of instrumentation. A very simple, slow,
emotional song, which really is one of Vie's strengths.
A Beatles' cover song that is done incredibly
well, but so faithfully that it seems unnecessary. Very cool for fans,
but it feels like Don is imitating McCartney a little too closely, instead
of making the song his own.
Overall, there's so much great material
on this disc. In fact, it's actually a shame that some of these songs are
so good, because unfortunately, the demo quality production really lessens
the impact of many of the best tracks.
'Just Enuff!' therefore won't set the world
on fire, but probably wasn't meant to. The disc should be viewed more like
a label-shopping demo, released independently for the fans, than Don E.
Vie's triumphant emergence as a solo artist.
If you're a fan of Vie, or great pop music,
there's a lot to enjoy on this disc. But as it is, this is a bit of a bittersweet
entry to the Vie catalogue, simply because of the production issues. With
the right budget, these songs could be amazing.
Vie - Just Enuff
1. Spider Web
2. Better Days
4. Jesus In Drag
5. Wintergreen Eyes
6. I'll Go On
7. Alice In A Jam
8. Don't Bring Me Down
9. That's What Love Is
11. Blowin' Kisses In The Wind
12. Wasting Time
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