By: Jeremy Fleischer
3.5 out of 5 STARS
A decade ago, Fort Collins was barely paying attention to Danielle Anderson, the ukulele songstress gracing open mic stages, when YouTube viewers worldwide fell in love with her alter ego, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, who performed sketches along with surprising ukulele covers on her channel. Beautifully sung and adeptly played uke covers were a novelty, for sure, but it was Danielle’s quirky charm that captivated viewers.
The Terrible Dinner Guest, Danielle’s sixth album, avoids the usual pitfalls of internet fame. The title track presents us with a character made so incredibly awkward by dinner parties that they can barely speak. Like so much of DATS’ work, the song is funny without jokes. But then we are given “Two Places at Once,” a soulful uke take on the existential struggle of dealing with physical restrictions. But perhaps most poignant and powerful is “To America,” a song meant to honor the places she’s seen with constant touring, yet today lyrics about being accepted in America take a painful irony.
The Terrible Dinner Guest is a collection of songs by an accomplished artist who isn’t afraid to express the breadth of the human experience, from silly and mundane to richly emotive and politically powerful. Her YouTube channel is also still stellar.