The professional career of Gary Dranow, first as an athlete and then a musician is impressive and multifaceted. The Singer/Songwriter from Utah has been playing music all his life and his 2024 Single “Dad” is a celebration of guidance, strength and fatherhood.

The track “Dad” makes several unconventional choices when it comes to song structure. It starts immediately, with all the elements of the song coming together in the first verse without leaving much time for an introduction or build-up. The vocals of Gary Dranow and strings start from the jump and persist throughout the song, the keys being a pleasant and emotional addition that sets the song apart from the common ballad. While tension usually escalates during a chorus, this chorus ends up being the most comforting part of the song with soothing high-pitched vocals. The song has two verses and no bridge yet makes space for an elaborate outro. I found these decisions dynamic and playful. The percussion is kept simple and light which adds an upbeat spirit without overpowering the vocals.

“Dad” relies heavily on its lyrics that set the scene of tranquility and elaborately highlight the influence of a father in the life of Gary Dranow. It speaks of a father’s bravery, empathy, resilience and wisdom as a role model. While the words accurately translate sentiment, they end up being clunkily written in some parts of the song and might view a father figure in uncritical light. The vocals don’t shift much throughout the song except for the end of the last verse, which can get repetitive given that the song relies so severely on the vocals.

“Dad” is a great addition to the discography of Gary Dranow. I recommend listening to it in memory or appreciation of your father!