Rubinstein’s ‘Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix’ a good song, but the wrong genre
When it comes to musical tastes, sometimes it’s fun to ask hypothetical questions about your favorite artists.
It at the very least spurs some lively conversations with fellow music lovers. For example, one hypothetical that’s particularly interesting to explore is the “would X band or artist sound just as great if they tried Y genre?”
So, for example, would Ben Harper sound just as great if he fronted a metal band? Would Britney Spears be just as popular if she dropped the pop genre and became a bluegrass artist? And so on.
To me, it depends on the artist, the genre and their natural abilities to cross over. Some artists can tackle multiple genres without any effort and sound just as remarkable. Others, not so much.
I bring this up because it seems like an important question to ask regarding
Y. Dan Rubinstein’s new single “Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix.”
The single’s instrumentation has a strong Latin ballad feel to it, anchored by the classical guitar. The lyrics, too, fit into that genre where Rubenstein sings “You were the one who told me you wanted to change everything instead,” and “Things that we never dreamed, plots that we’d only schemed, fibers woven to threads.”
It’s all done well enough and the intentions are clear into what the song is attempting to accomplish. The only problem is that Rubinstein’s voice just isn’t fit for this type of song. The arrangement works against his voice rather than working with it, and ultimately it sounds like what might happen if, for example, Keith Urban tried singing an opera song. Urban’s a fine musician, but, he’s no opera star. It’s as easy as that.
Back to Rubinstein, though. After listening to his first track from the album “Stolen Moments,” the difference in what a solid arrangement can do for his vocals is made abundantly clear. It also helps to have a magnificently shot video done by one Jose Hernandez and starring the beautiful Vanesa Rodriguez and Jose Cervino. But, even without the wonderful video, the arrangement on “Stolen Moments” highlight Rubinstein’s strong points and lessen his weaknesses like a good song should.
If you can get over that, “Don’t Break what You Cannot Fix” is a catchy tune. Listening to it twice, I had it stuck in my head the rest of the day. It’s a good track, I just wouldn’t say that it’s his best piece of work. Something that’s more folk-driven or a little closer to say Tom Petty or Don McLean might suit Rubinstein better, but it’s tough to say for sure without hearing him try.
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rubinstein according to his official bio, “has found his musical purpose in crafting songs that explore themes of love, relationships in the modern age, socially important issues, and the realm of possibilities.” It states that he “draws much of his musical inspiration from the important issues of our era as well as the timeless, universal aspects of longing, desire and memory.”