Single Review: Y. Dan Rubenstein – “Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix”
An alluring Latin jazz feel provides the foundation of Rubenstein’s “Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix.” intricate guitar lines flit in and out of the arrangement, but as alluring as the music is, the Bay Area singer would have listeners focus on his lyrics. The song is a spoken-sung conversation between two lovers, but it’s really more of an allegory for something larger. The dialogue doesn’t really ring true for an informal conversation (“You’ll tire my dear of this constant fear”); perhaps it should be thought of more as a vignettes from series of handwritten letters sent through the mail. That idea – quaint as it is in 2019 – feels about right for the tune. Without hearing more – only this single was provided for review – it’s hard to get a handle on this artist’s musical worldview. But there are enough subtle hints here to suggest that it’s literate and perhaps worthy of further investigation.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.