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Daniel Romano | Finally Free

The prolific singer-songwriter does it again — perhaps better than he ever has before.

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Some artists are all about quantity, churning out album after album like so many musical sausages. Others are all about quality, releasing nothing that feels half-baked or unfinished. Then you’ve got Daniel Romano. The eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter is one of those infuriating dudes who can cover both waterfronts without breaking stride or sweat. The ridiculously great Finally Free is his third album of the year and his seventh full-length in four years. In the weeks preceding its release, he issued not one, not two, not three, but four videos. Along with that, he owns his own label, designs artwork, makes guitar straps, and presumably cobbles shoes when he isn’t simultaneously churning butter, doing needlepoint and building ships in bottles. And just to keep things from getting, you know, boring, he recorded this nine-song effort on a four-track cassette deck. Not that you’d ever know; these skillfully assembled slices of ’60s-style folk, Dylanesque country-rock and psychedelia sound just as richly rendered and textured as any full-sized, big-budget studio creation. Meanwhile, his idiosyncratic songcraft and poetic lyrical romanticism might even be more openhearted, evocative and intricately articulate than anything he’s created in his prolific career — which is really saying something. In short: He’s done it again. And done it better than he did the last time. One can only imagine what he might accomplish if he ever had some free time.