David Fagin – For Promotional Use Only

As founder and lead singer of The Rosenbergs, David Fagin led a crusade for artists’ rights against unfair recording contracts, yet his solo CD is virtually free of politics. Only “Dust”, a haunting melody lamenting our relationship with the earth, gives a hint of his activist tendencies. The rest of For Promotional Use Only is a collection of solidly produced, tightly written and eminently hummable pop tunes.

Although “Woods,” from the Rosenbergs’ 2004 CD “Department Store Girl,” could have been a prequel to this disc, For Promotional Use Only represents a departure from The Rosenbergs’ hard-driving, upbeat power pop sound. The mood is more intimate, the themes more personal. Fagin wrote or co-wrote all eleven songs here, and his bright arrangements save a CD arguably about loss, regret and apathy from being a downer. His voice, a rich tenor, lacks the overproduced recorded quality of many of his peers, leading one to believe he would sound exactly the same live as on the CD.

Included on this disc is a four minute vacation. “Island Blues”, co-written with fellow Rosenberg Joshua Aaron, does a brilliant job of making you feel as if you’re lying on the beach in some tropical locale. The song provides the ocean sound effects and island feel, you bring the margaritas.

“I Do” (also written with Aaron) is an anthem of love lost because “I never said “˜I do'”. “Neverland” laments never having had a baby, “wouldn’t that be good if I just could.” Both of these sentiments are surprising coming from someone whose good looks and raw talent would seem to indicate great potential for relationship success. Could it be he’s just a regular guy?

While every cut has something to like, the real standout is “Hindsight”, a fond farewell with a touch of regret. From its first high-energy chords, it draws you in with its catchy hook and smart lyrics. “I’m looking forward to hindsight,” Fagin says, as if a little distance will magically bring everything into clear focus.

The beauty of his words is how relatable they are. Who hasn’t struggled for answers to relationship questions? In the event the answers prove as elusive to Fagin as they do to the rest of us, at least he’s taken us on an entertaining journey during the search.

After the hopelessness of “Neverland”, the final cut, “Fade Out”, ends the CD on a positive note. Has he finally found his true love? Can’t help hoping for the good guy.

You can order For Promotional Use Only from David Fagin’s MySpace page and CD Baby.