As I listened to Howie Day’s debut album, I couldn’t help but think of spaghetti. This album is definitely mood music sashaying through the world of love and bitter heartbreak, and what better than to kick back with than a comforting plate of spaghetti? Some of it’s undercooked and crunchy, some songs make you do cartwheels and some are so overcooked that you choke them down while considering the alternatives (squirrel meat, anyone?).

As a debut album, Australia is a bit on the undercooked and crunchy side of the scale. Day, from Maine, has a vocal range that matches artists such as Bono, Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley. Using himself, an acoustic guitar and some bass and percussion, Day plays a range of songs covering emotional loss and heartbreak.

Day is going where many young artists have gone before. I mean, love is great, but there are definitely more unique ways to travel through the musical jungle. However, the song “Kristina” is quite inspiring, with a complementary intermixing of vocals and the simple message of unconditional friendship.

Most of the songs are half-boiled, but not so much so that you would instantly throw them out the window. Day just needs to experiment with the melancholic mood that he has created; adding a mix of vocals and contrasting guitar rifts would definitely spruce things up. The possibilities are endless, and a bit of original flavor would set this guy apart from the masses.

[Lara is thin and squirmy.]