DONAVAN EVANS' SOLO ALBUM, CLICHE LOVE ENTRY

COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART

Review by Marley Scheld

September 29, 2020

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Singer and guitar player Donavan Evans moved from place to place this year and wrote almost every song of his new album in a different place. What he ended up with was Cliche Love Entry, an album diving into his emotions, adventures, and fallen relationships. It’s an alternative rock album with some grunge influence and a slight modern twist.


Before releasing this album, Evans was a singer and guitarist of The Walk Arounds, a New Jersey based alternative rock band. After playing in that band for years, he decided it was time to go on his own to make a solo album.


“Going solo has let me express a lot more of the ideas and creativity I kept in the dark for a while, and my plan is to bring it to the light now,” he said.


The new album, which was released this past August, features strong guitar riffs and distorted vocals that carry the emotional, and often times existential, lyrics of the songs. But one thing that sets Evans apart from other rock albums is his addition of computer-generated beats that bring a modern taste to his album.

Diving into specific tracks, songs like “Good Reasons,” “Maybe One Day,” and “Cherry Tree” all have this trap-like beat instead of a classic drummer that you would find on a rock album. It modernizes the album – you can tell it was produced around 2020, rather than the 90s or early 2000s – and makes it stand out more.


Not all songs on the album have a computerized beat. It opens with “Red Melted Candle,” which has a relaxed beat (most likely done by an actual drummer) and bouncy keyboard that carries the song throughout. It’s a strong opening and tells us right away what Evans is all about. The second track, “Pentagram Chain,” has an interesting beat – it almost feels swingy in a way – that feels very relaxed in opposition to the tense lyrics he sings. “Sidewalk” feels the most traditional in a punk rock album. It has great drums, great guitar, and a really strong instrumental section where you can tell the energy would be the highest during a live show.


In Evans’ writing, he often sings or screams lyrics that come across as very existentialist. “Maybe one day I’ll find a way,” he yells in the song “Maybe One Day.” In “Drug Den,” more yelling: “Can you hear me scream, I have no dreams.” He’s not afraid to dive into his pain and explore the hardships that he faces. “I tried my best to make something that could connect to everyone’s heart,” he says. “I think listeners could get a little bit of every emotion out of this album whether it’s pain, love, or happiness.”


The finale of the album is “Waving Bye” (note the period in the title suggesting the literal finish). This is one of the strongest songs on the album, both lyrically and instrumentally. There’s beautiful acoustic guitar and an instrumental section that switches tempos at least three times and layers electric guitar that highlights the musical talent that Evans has surely developed over the years. It ends very softly in comparison to the rest of the album, with a finale that fades beautifully until it all ends.

“I believe there’s no right or wrong way to write a song. As long as it’s coming from your heart and you can feel the passion, you wrote a good song,” Evans says.


If there’s one word to describe Cliche Love Entry, it’s passionate. He was able to pour his heart out into each lyric and guitar riff. Though Evans said he wrote almost every song in a different location throughout the past year and a half, there’s his own unity that is strung together to create one great project.


As for what he’s doing next, he’s working on a new EP called Magenta with his friend Rob Richards. They are experimenting with different genres, sounds, and instruments and have some of Evans’ deepest words, feelings, and messages. “I’m super stoked for everyone to hear this EP and I hope it connects with peoples’ hearts. That’s my biggest goal as a writer.”

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