Daniel Powter | Daniel Powter | Warner Bros.
Major music television networks seemed to have taken it upon themselves to give up-and-coming artists a break in the entertainment industry. VH1 junkies know what I’m talking about – the “You Oughta Know” segment that tries to thrust artists down our throats and into the limelight comes to mind. But the critic that I am, I always wonder: how trustworthy are these selections? Is the whole album characteristic of this one single that may be extremely popular? Should I bother buying the CD? Case in point: Daniel Powter. This beanie-wearing, Vancouver native burst onto the scene with his unique sense of style, as evident in his self-titled debut.
The album begins with “Song 6” and “Free Loop” – two songs that really cement the mood of the Powter listening experience. Here he pounds away poised melodies at the piano while belting out eloquent, contemplative lyrics. The best thing about Powter might be that his descriptions really reflect the overall feel that he tries to portray in his songs; as in the case of the album’s first single, “Bad Day.” Most people have heard this song in some way shape or form, whether it’s on the radio or over the closing credits of “American Idol.” It’s a song that everyone can at least slightly relate to as Powter sings, “Where is the moment when we need it the most / You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost / They tell me your blue sky’s faded to grey / They tell me your passion’s gone away.” From there, the album does a 180, and Powter pounds through “Hollywood,” a fun song with nothing “deep” or “meaningful” about it – for those of us who are just not interested in contemplating anything beyond what’s in front of us. Even by making a dramatic turn, Powter manages to hold fast to the characteristic sound that runs throughout the album.
Overall, Daniel Powter is well rounded enough. The young Canuck provides a great range of songs for his listener’s every mood. There are tracks that are penned merely for our enjoyment, while others beg us to focus on and empathize with Powter’s heartbreak. The only problem I had with the album was that Powter tends to reach for these annoyingly highly pitches at various points, often straining his vocals for full songs. However, this is only one minuscule problem that is outweighed by an otherwise great debut album. I have been proven wrong in my skepticism and can safely say that I no longer look at Powter as a one-hit wonder.
[Amita Chollate likes her Canadians stylin’, suave and radio-friendly.]