D-A-D Forty Love

‘Forty Love’ Is a Solid Set Point for D-A-D

Even if Forty Love isn’t a definitive summation of D-A-D’s career, it’s a nice introduction to this long-time Danish rock band you’ve heard but never heard of.

Forty Love
Warner Music Denmark
1 March 2024

When a band celebrates 40 years of existence, it’s an accomplishment to be recognized. Whimsical Danes D-A-D have achieved this by infusing their music with a comical sensibility without compromising their original sound.

Like Jean Claude Van Damme’s character Frank in Newt Arnold’s 1988 film Bloodsport, they don’t limit themselves to one style. D-A-D can almost instinctively blend country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, electronic music, indie rock, metal, and even some jazz chords thrown in for good measure. Their music is as eclectic as that of another perennially underrated band, the former Dutch group Golden Earring. This band could also change styles from album to album, more often than not, even from one song to another, as the listener is obliged to accompany the shifts. According to your preferences, this can make for an inconsistent listening experience or an interesting one.

D-A-D falls into the one-hit wonder category because you may not know them, even though you probably listened to their most recognizable song, “Sleeping My Day Away“, on the radio at any given time, heard the song “Everything About You” and can’t name the band that’s playing (Ugly Kid Joe) or know which is the most recognizable Chumbawamba song. Since their inception, the core of the band comprises brothers Jesper (guitar, lead vocals), Jacob Binger (guitar), and Stig Pedersen on bass guitar, in whichever form he devises it, from rockets to cell phones. Drums have been played by Laust Sonne (since 1999), a very accomplished player indeed. He’s not the flashiest on the skins, but you have to be one hell of a drummer to navigate through D-A-D’s songs. Sonne’s approach is similar to Alan White’s when he replaced Bill Bruford on Yes. Unassuming and calm, and gets the job done with just the right amount of class and ease.

As with 99.9% of Best Of releases, the relevance of the songs included on Forty Love is up for debate, as are the ones that were left out. As no new songs are on the release, this album will have little value for those who have most of D-A-D’s discography by the band. (Yours truly is one of them!) There are no songs from their last two studio releases, 2011’s Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark (a wordplay on the original name of the band, Disneyland After Dark) and 2019’s A Prayer for the Loud.

Forty Love‘s song selection covers all the bases and gives newcomers an excellent overview of D-A-D’s solid compositions. Hopefully, it will serve as a gateway to appreciate and explore a solid career made by musicians who refuse to compromise their style and record and play what they feel at any given time. Their compositions feature a peculiar sense of humor in every song they’ve released thus far, and I’m pretty sure they’ll continue along those lines in the band’s future.

The acronym D-A-D appeared after the Walt Disney Company sued the band for wrongful use of its brand name. The band’s bass player Stig Pedersen concocted this name because of the idea that when the lights are out at Disneyland, anything can happen.

RATING 6 / 10