Starting with the muffled sound of train tracks and ending with the sound of pouring rain, Dan Israel gives us his 14th album, “You’re Free.”

The album talks a lot about working through life’s crisis and battles for freedom, love, and your dreams. 

The album's title track, “You’re Free,” is about no one being able to tell you what to do. It’s about being defiant for your freedom and that the world is your oyster. 

A few songs are reminiscent of other eras. “Long Gone Dream” is a harder sounding song than the rest of the album, and almost doesn’t fit among the rest of the tracks but offers something more unique. The verses are short and the chorus tells the listener, “You’re gonna carry that long gone dream” over and over. It has a classic hard rock sound that makes for enjoyable listening. It ends with a line that carries the overall thesis of the album, “Don’t let them bury that long gone dream.” 

My two favorite tracks are “Feeling Better” and “If I Didn’t Have You.” This is where the energy of the album peaks. 

Israel’s voice is reminiscent of Tom Petty’s and nowhere is that more noticeable than in “If I Didn’t Have To.” Not only does his voice sound like Petty’s, but the guitar riff at the beginning makes you think this could be one of his songs. One can only assume there was some musical influence here. 

“Stay on the Run” is a personal look at himself and how those around him see his work. The track is slower than most and you can feel the exhausted feeling he is working through in this song. It is lyrically more about his personal life than the others and give us a glimpse of how his job as a musician effects his social life. 

The album ends bringing back the riff of “Long Gone Dream” to the sound of rain pouring. It gives the listener a feeling of hearing the guitar play in your home while the rain purs outside. It makes the listener feel connected to Israel and a really lovely way to end an album.

Israel will have an album release party May 9 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis with Rich Mattson and the Northstars.