Dave Falk,
Love Breaks All the Rules
(Bright Sound, 2002)

Love Breaks All the Rules, from Boston's Dave Falk, is a sincere and spirited debut from a talented young performer.

The project was produced by Jason Gardner (Pamela Means) and features David "Goody" Goodrich on guitar, Wesley Worth on bass and Jon Natchez on sax and flute. All songs were written by Falk, and they reflect a wide range of styles from intimate ballads to flat-out bluesy rock. I liked the gentle material best.

Falk seems most comfortable on the mellow songs, such as "Do It All Again," which allow his sweet and sometimes quavery voice to whisper along seductively without any strain. On some of the more upbeat and produced numbers (such as "Pledging Our Time") he seems to push a bit too hard.

On the other hand, there were also moments when I wondered if he was too relaxed. In "Dark Stars" I wondered if he'd had a few too many beers before recording his vocal track -- which isn't a good sign, of course. Spontaneity and honesty are great, but on the other hand, any new male contemporary singer-songwriter is going to be compared to John Mayer, David Gray and dozens of others, so it's always wise to put one's best foot forward.

That said, Falk has an ear for a catchy hook and he comes across as a genuinely likeable guy. In songs like "Peace O Mind" (featured in the award-winning independent film Director's Bug) you can tell he's having a great time and it spills over happily into the speakers.

The overall listening experience is a bit uneven, but Dave Falk should be given lots of credit for taking creative risks and not being hung up on perfection. As the title track says, love breaks all the rules, and you have to break a few rules to grow as an artist. In this energetic and promising debut, Falk is trusting his heart.

- Rambles
written by Joy McKay
published 1 May 2004