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Music Review: Danika Holmes – Second Chances

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Like many singer/songwriters, Danika Holmes turned to music when her life seemed to have hit bottom. The death of her father and a painful ending to a relationship inspired her to write down her feelings, and daily hours spent on the guitar helped her “clear her mind.” She credits her life experiences, her dad’s influence, and music for shaping her as an artist.

Holmes songs are emotional, and she explains, “Women are emotional beings. We feel love, sadness, hope, loneliness…we feel everything.” Both men and women can relate to the emotions she expresses in her music.

Danika Holmes’ debut album second chances is a curious mix of light pop with the emphasis on relationship songs. Good relationships, past relationships, failing relationships. There are folk influences, but it’s with the country-flavored “If You Love Me, Just Say It” that she shines. The title song, “Second Chances,” and a bonus track, “Dear Friends” (dedicated to her loved ones “and to anyone who has been a friend to another when they needed it most.”), both have that country feel; these three are the best on the CD.

Holmes would benefit from more complex orchestration and a bit more force. She has the courage to put herself out there and she’s put her heart into her songs, but she needs to sell them. As we listen, we keep hoping that she’ll let loose. Songs with potential, like “Pockets Full of Gold,” seem restrained, as if Holmes is holding back. The one thing Danika Holmes needs is the one thing she can’t work on: time. While her voice is pleasant, it lacks maturity, which she will gain if she continues performing and recording. If only we could fast forward…

Performing with Holmes on second chances are Paul Hamilton (guitars and keyboards), Jeb Hart (lead guitar and bass), and drummer Nick Fairley; Beth Ann Wirth and Barbara Worsfold provide background vocals.

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