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Dennis J Leise’s “How Do You Want Em Made”

From its easy-going piano harmonies to the stutter-step groove that takes us back in time like only a sweet ‘50s melody can, Dennis J Leise’s new single “How Do You Want Em Made” is as plaintive a pop track as they come, but it’s not lacking in substance in the least. Contrarily, this is probably one of the few meat and potatoes singles I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the past few months, and despite its retrospective melodic leanings, there’s nothing here to suggest anything but a contemporary talent capable of keeping listeners of this generation both engaged and intrigued. 

This sweeping rhythm frames the lyrics exceptionally well, and with the up-step piano parts drawing a lot of urgency out of the harmony, it’s nice to have a beat behind the verses that feels both consistent and charismatic relative to the words. It’s easy to make a throwback to the old school in pop or rock, but getting to the roots of what makes a simple hook feel really over the top and inviting takes a lot of talent that most artists simply do not possess. Leise is doing the latter here, and making the whole process look and feel really simple. 

Dennis J Leise’s lead vocal in this performance has an honest sensibility that matches up well with the squeaky clean hook in the track, and I would love to hear how incredibly it translates in a live show. I have a feeling that we’re only getting a sliver of the magic in this studio rendition of the song, and before a crowd of eager concert-goers it would probably sound a little looser – and likely more swaggering – than it ever could when presented from within the four walls of a normal recording studio. 

There’s really not much of a pulse coming from the low-end percussion as we get into the guts of this track, but personally I don’t think this singer needs a thunderous drum element as much as he needs the calculated strut of the beat at all times. Again, this is where quality trumps quantity every time, and had Leise not been the kind of hands-on, zero-B.S. kind of a musician that he is when he gets past the composing stage and into actually recording this content, this song might have held the potential to sound a little bland and easy to forget. 

My man Dennis J Leise knows how to be rowdy when he needs to be and earnest when the material calls for it, and if you weren’t embracing his work before listening to “How Do You Want Em Made,” you’re going to be excited about this next chapter in his career once you do. There’s an intergenerational appeal to this single and its music video thanks to the splicing of aesthetics, but more than this, I think that a talent as grand as this one tends to find its way onto the speakers of audiences no matter their age group. This is great content, and perhaps just a preview of what’s still in his queue moving forward. 

Mindy McCall



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