Jeff Rossen, Cabaret Scenes / Gay Chicago Magazine, 4 Stars
It's very easy to be lulled by a beautiful voice, especially when it flows through the banks of textured arrangements. But when that voice is infused with lyrical interpretations that tear at the very core of a song's heart and, as a result, the listener's well, it becomes a difficult task indeed to put into words just how exquisite Frank Dain's I Thought About You really is. When I think of other male singers who've had the same kind of mesmerizing effect on me that Dain has with this album, only three names come to mind: Lee Lessack, Tom Michael and Charles Cermele.
I first put I Thought About You on in my car, but when I got to the parking garage, I couldn't turn it off. Fortunately, I had my Discman with me, so the music continued as I walked to my office, rode the elevator and got to my desk. And there I sat until it was done. From the soft lullaby of "The Way You Look Tonight" (underscored by Peter Calo's tender guitar shadings) through to the poignant "In Passing Years," Dain, in collaboration with arranger-musical director-producer Rick Jensen, whose creations here are the year's most inspired, practically hypnotizes the listener with an ultimately and unexpectedly optimistic "If I Love Again" (and it's lush layering of piano, bass, horn and strings), an achingly soul-baring merging of Don McLean's "Empty Chairs" with Rodgers and Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind," a backwoods bayou-flavoured "I Thought About You," a joyous "Night and Day," a hopefully romantic "I Cover the Waterfront," an intimate "When I Look In Your Eyes" and the loving caress of "All the Things You Are/The Nearness of You."
After listening no, experiencing I Thought About You, I kept thinking about Frank Dain. Again and again. And again. (Chosen as the #2 Vocal CD for 2001.)
Bill Miller, The Bill Miller Show, National Radio Syndicators, Inc.
Just auditioned the new Frank Dain CD. This truly is a "two lovers by the fireplace" mood album. Johnny Mathis and Julie London now have a cohort in Frank Dain. He sets the mood and treats the standards with respect and love. I especially like: "The Way You Look Tonight," "Night and Day" and "You Go to My Head." Count me in for tons of airplay for Frank Dain...another young talent that will make sure that good music will not go away.
Show Music, The Musical Theatre Magazine
Frank Dain's I Thought About You is a thoroughly romantic affair, in no small part because of Dain's warmly expressive baritone, with a Johnny Mathis-like vibrato, although not as emphasized as Mathis'. In addition to cabaret, Dain has appeared in regional theater musicals, perhaps accounting for the thoughtful approach he takes in his interpretations. Among the great standards in Dain's 13 selections are "The Way You Look Tonight," "If I Love Again" (great arrangement by musical director Rick Jensen featuring French horn, viola and cello), "Night and Day," "You Go to My Head," "It Never Was You" and "I Cover the Waterfront." Doctor Doolittle's "When I Look In Your Eyes" is a reminder that song is too neglected. Don McLean's "Empty Chairs" and Rodgers and Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind" make an off-beat but effective pairing with backing by piano, guitar, bass, and cello. Combined, Dain's vocals and Jensen's arrangements create a fervent atmosphere for the listener.
Dave Nathan, All Music Guide, 3 Stars
For his maiden album, cabaret singer Frank Dain has chosen a program of mostly well-known entries from the Great American Popular Songbook. He is accompanied on this session by experienced musicians who work the NYC cabaret circuit, plus jazz French horn player Tom Varner, who's on two tracks. The scoring for "If I Love Again" includes a part for Varner's horn which gives that track a smooth, mellow sound that fits well with Dain's voice. The singer takes after Johnny Mathis, possessing the same passionate quiver in his delivery, although the vibrato is not nearly as heavy as Mathis adopted. But the same sort of ardor is present on these romantic ballads that kept Mathis at the top of the traditional pop singing roster for years. Dain is fortunate to have the benefit of some excellent arrangements and orchestrations. On the medley, "All the Things You Are"/"The Nearness of You," he sings the verse to the former and then segues into the chorus of the latter. In addition to Varner, guitarist Peter Calo works well with Dain on such cuts as "I Thought About You." The CD is an agreeable musical diversion by a singer who knows how to use his vocal equipment to full advantage to present a pleasurable program of standards. Recommended.
Jonathan Frank, Talkin' Broadway - Sound Advice
It's a good thing that lasers don't wear out CDs, otherwise Frank Dain's album, I Thought About You, would be reduced to the thickness of a sheet of paper. I received a pre-release copy several months ago, and I am glad that it has finally been released, as this is definitely another 'must have' album.
Dain possesses a voice that is constantly being compared to Johnny Mathis by reviewers, which is not quite accurate. While he possesses the pleasant vibrato and slight emotional catch of Mathis, Dain sings in a lower, warmer register that makes I Thought About You as soothing as a hot toddy in front of the fireplace on a cold winter night. The album consists primarily of standards ("The Way You Look Tonight," "When I Look In Your Eyes" and "I Thought About You" being highlights) and is bolstered by subtle arrangements by Rick Jensen (who also wrote the closing track, "In Passing Years").
This is a great CD, debut or otherwise, and a great way to relax after a hectic day.
Al Monroe, On The Bandstand, WNTI 91.9 FM
Frank Dain caresses each tune with warm intimate phrasing and gentle passion that draws a bond between singer and listener that makes both feel each song was meant just for them.
Laurie Lawson, Electronic Link Journey
The master of the ballad, FRANK DAIN, has finally released his first CD. "I Thought About You" showcases Dain's breathless, throaty voice with songs like "The Way You Look Tonight," "Night and Day," "All the Things You Are"/"The Nearness of You," and I" Cover The Waterfront." A delightful blend of Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra, he mesmerizes with his heartfelt renderings of love songs. Just what the doctor ordered in these times of chaos and confusion a smooth voice that will melt away your tensions.
Patrick Arena, Southern Voice / The Slant
Another NYC artist with a new CD is singer FRANK DAIN. Dain works in the cabaret/jazz standard vein. His gentle touch with his vocals puts him way above many other singers in this over-populated field. Working with Rick Jensen as his musical collaborator, the two have created superb arrangements of some classic songs. The Way You Look Tonight is the perfect introduction to this easy-going set. Jensen and the producers use the French horn and cello to marvelous effect. The album is chock full of wonderful songs like "It Never Was You," "You Go to My Head" and "I Cover the Waterfront." Dain superbly focuses his sweet voice on the lyrics in his medley of "All the Things You Are" and "The Nearness of You." This CD is a performance of sensitivity and class. Rick Jensen's own "In Passing Years" closes the album with a dash of poignancy.
One of the loveliest and most romantic recordings I've heard in years.
Stephen Peithman, Producer/Host, Capital Public Radio, Sacramento, CA
Cabaret performer Frank Dain has a warm intensity in his voice that suits the romantic nature of the songs here, including "Night and Day," "You Go to My Head, "and particularly "It Never Was You." I'm not a fan of combining two songs to make a dramatic statement, but Dain makes a strong case for his pairing of “Empty Chairs” (Don McLean) and “It Never Entered My Mind.” Ballads predominate, but Dain and arranger/musical director Rick Jensen swing gently, but persuasively, in the exceptional “I Thought About You.” I haven't had this one off my CD player for the last week.
Bruce Douglas Swiszcz
IMPASSIONED AND FINELY CONTROLLED SINGING
The first time that I ever saw Frank Dain perform, in a small Manhattan club in 1996, I was struck by the immediacy of his presentation and the warm, emotionally honest quality of his singing. Those same qualities are no less evident on Dain's new CD, on which he revisits some of the great standards. Dain's singing, with the quicksilver fluttering of his vibrato and the laser precision of his crisp phrasing, draws the listener in, quickening his pulse and rekindling long dormant feelings. The throaty catch in his voice may conjure Johnny Mathis, but the vocal magic is all his own. But if Dain's singing is impassioned, it is also finely controlled. He is never maudlin, never overstated. His performances are distinguished by an IMPLIED burst of emotion that makes each song crackle with energy and tension. The emotional floodgates may be ready to burst, but Dain astutely manages to keep those feelings at bay. That he can convey a wellspring of such feeling without overselling his material is a testament to his interpretive talents. His repertoire here is a fine collection of great standards like "The Way You Look Tonight," "Night and Day," "You Go to My Head," "It Never Was You," and the title track. His pairing of "All the Things You Are" and "The Nearness of You" fits like a hand in glove. Even better is his blending of Don McLean's "Empty Chairs" with Rodgers and Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind," with Dain mining two songs written decades apart to convey the utter disbelief of a man suddenly confronted with the dissolution of a relationship. Dain's hypnotic, evocative rendering of "When I Look in Your Eyes" belies its origin in (of all things) Leslie Bricusse's score for the movie Doctor Doolittle. Rick Jensen's "In Passing Years" is a distillation of the importance of deep friendships as a constant in our lives. Produced by Jeff Waxman and Rick Jensen (who also serves as Dain's arranger and musical director), and co-produced by Lisa Asher (the director of Dain's live shows, and a fine singer in her own right, with a CD called Let themystery Be), the CD finds Dain with distinctive but unobtrusive instrumental accompaniment, including Jensen on piano, Dave Phillips on bass, Peter Calo on guitar, Rex Benincasa on drums/percussion, and Wendy Sutter on cello. Jack Bashkow's alto sax, English horn and flute nicely augment Dain's performance of the Edward Heyman/Johnny Green classic I Cover the Waterfront. The Dain vocal instrument has seldom shone as brightly as it does as presented here. If you want to hear material from the great American songbook, or some newer songs that prove that they DO still write them like they used to, delivered in a voice that recalls a time when hushed singing drew lovers closer together, pick up a copy of Frank Dain's I Thought About You.