19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Underrated Treasure, 26 Dec. 2004
I discovered "Ariel" by Dean Friedman early in 2004 on volume 20 of the excellent series "Super Hits of the 70's." I was washing dishes when "Ariel" came on and I had to stop and listen, and it hasn't gotten out of my head since. In my opinion, it is one of the two or three best pop records, ever. What glorious layered vocals on the choruses, and such an original storyline. You'll think of it every time you say "Hi" to someone again.
Through Dean's website I obtained all five of his CD's. While they all have good songs, I can particularly recommend this twofer set that contains his first two albums. The first, "Dean Friedman," shows a developing talent - but "Ariel" alone is worth the price of the whole disc.
I agree with a couple of other reviewers, however, that "Well, Well, Said The Rocking Chair" is Dean's crowning achievement. Here he comes into his own with a unique perspective and complex, rich characters. Take the relationship between the loser with a heart of gold and the codependent woman in "Lydia." Or the excitement of first love on "The Deli Song." Or the man who finds hope in his everyday belongings in "Rocking Chair." All nine tracks are brilliantly written, and sung beautifully in Dean's unique voice.
It's a shame that Dean didn't achieve greater success (two Top 40 hits in the UK and only one in the US), but not a surprise, given that his music is hard to categorize and wholly original. Treat yourself to this excellent twofer and enjoy some great writing and singing whose quality has stood the test of time.