Album Review: Toh Kay / Dan Potthast split – You By Me: Volume 1

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Being a longtime fan of Kalnoky-related bands such as Catch 22, Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, and, of course, Streetlight Manifesto, I was happy to hear that singer/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky would be embarking on a solo acoustic project under the name of Toh Kay. I couldn’t wait to hear some new material.

So when Pentimento Music Company announced that Toh Kay and Mu330 singer Dan Potthast would be doing a split covering each other’s work, I immediately pre-ordered it, expecting no less than the best of both artists.

However, when the album’s single, entitled “I’ve Set Sail,” was released, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. The song was far too cute for me. While it’s grown on me since then, I still think it’s the weakest track of the album.

The next four Toh Kay tracks give us that Kalnoky style that we all know and love, while revealing some new diversity, as well. It’s clear that he spent a lot of time reworking these songs to form something unique.

Potthast, on the other hand, seemed to be more conservative with his covers. Now, tracks 6-10 are fine covers, but they just lack some originality. They all fall victim to the ska beat at some time or another. Which, again, is fine, but they just don’t have the same feel as the originals.

My personal favorites are Downtown, Got Through Another One, A Moment of Silence, and Watch It Crash.

Does this album break any new ground for either artist? Not really. But is it fun and worth a listen? You bet it is.

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