I appreciate the mood immediately set by Y. Dan Rubinstein’s “Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix” – a bossa nova inspired homage to the Loudon Wainwright school of clever wordplay embedded within sorrow. Rubinstein’s track finds the artist playing the roles of both wordsmith and sacred entertainer, a modest man with an exotically sensual sound to punctuate his utter seriousness.
Armed with an evocative guitar tone that bridges the gap between northern and southern hemispheres, Rubinstein’s playful yet yearning lyricism feels very free, though foreboding. Conjuring imagery of foul weather and black widow webs, the folklore-centric aspects of the song come to life, though they bloom in a highly relatable fashion.
Much like a brash version of Nick Drake’s later catalogue, Rubinstein isn’t afraid to find comfort in the emotionally complex side of his songwriting. “Don’t Break What You Cannot Fix” is the elevated, altruistic, affluent version of a Nick Drake tune, though swapping out the feeling of Grandmother’s cottage for a Catalina island trip ending in heartbreak and turmoil. Still, Rubinstein brings a unique kind of comfort to the track – the type one might find when consoling a close family friend.
Some individuals are described as the type one might share a beer with. Others, such as Rubinstein, might best be enjoyed alongside a nice vintage wine.