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Album ReviewsBlog post

Album Review: Derek Sanders – My Rock and Roll Heart

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Release Date: 14/02/2020

Record Label: Rise Records

For Fans Of: Mayday Parade, Cory Wells, Jimmy Eat World

Derek Sanders is best known for fronting pop-punk heavyweight outfit, Mayday Parade, but he’s flying solo on his EP, My Rock and Roll Heart. Valentine’s Day 2017 saw Sanders gift his wife a cover of ‘But Lauren’ by Goodbye Love that he had recorded and three years later to the day, Sanders is gifting the world that very same song. My Rock and Roll Heart doesn’t stop there as it treats fans to a further four stripped-back covers with great sentimental meaning to Sanders. It’s intimate, it’s personal, and most importantly it’s a beauty of an EP.

There’s no shortage of emotion and feeling on My Rock and Roll Heart, an aspect of making music that Sanders has made a career out of with Mayday Parade, but this release feels different. The choice of covers allows an insight into Derek Sanders without the frontman persona. When Sanders begins singing ‘But Lauren’ it’s as though you’re there while he serenades his wife; it is pure and it is genuine. The affection and importance that the song holds to Sanders is clear as he warmly takes care of it for four minutes and nine seconds. ‘August In Bethany’ is similar in the way that it is performed as though not a hair on it’s head can be harmed: delicate and flawless in its delivery.

Covering a song by a band of Jimmy Eat World’s stature is no mean feat. However, Derek Sanders’ unique interpretation of ‘A Praise Chorus’ is a joy to behold. A song that originally had tempo and a pinch of attitude is stripped back to its most raw form. Similarly, My Rock and Roll Heart sees Something Corporate’s ‘Pop Punk Princess’ and Saves The Day’s ‘Rock Tonic Juice Magic’ performed in a way that leaves them void of energetic, thrashing punk vibes, and instead shines a light on the meaning and beauty within their lyrics. 

While the tracks on My Rock and Roll Heart might not belong to Derek Sanders, they feel like they are his stories to tell. This is an EP about love that you’ll love falling in love with.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Track: ‘But Lauren’

Find Derek Sanders on: Twitter // Instagram

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