Review Summary: "You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost....."
Daniel Powter may be the biggest one-hit wonder artist in music in the last 14 years of the new millennium. The Canadian-pop singer-songwriter is well-known for his self-penned pop hit "Bad Day" that released in 2005, which garnered him massive recognition and appeared at No. 1 in multiple countries including his homeland of Canada. He never became anything after that song, releasing another album with Warner Bros. before being dropped in 2008. Like many one-hit wonders Powter never again made a major mark in the music industry, which is terribly unfortunate because his major record debut self-titled "Daniel Powter" showed signs of promise for the now mid-40's singer-songwriter. The variety of musical styles in the record is astonishing, and it appears to work just fine with beautiful instrumentation and Powter's croony vocal sets.
The self-titled record has a bunch of musical styles, tons of variety that is prominent throughout the album. Usually pop artists nowadays will do upbeat material along with some gut-wrenching ballads, but Powter goes against the norm in this one. He not only does that, but he also provides tracks with different vibes like the one set in the track "Suspect". The track has a rock kind of feel infused into the instrumentation, which fits in with the solid falsetto of Powter. His falsetto is nothing like what pop sensation Sam Smith has acquired, but he does pull it off with his heartfelt vocal sets regardless. Lyrically-speaking it falters, which tends to be an issue in the album along with some of the songwriting. Putting a bunch of musical styles in an album is pretty gutsy for a pop artist, considering most pop material works on only one particular style. The opening track "Song 6" provides a mellow '70s R&B feel to the melody which sounds nice, and still following the mass variety of styles has another rock-influenced track with "Free Loop" that again is pulled off very well.
The self-titled record is pretty short, unusual for a pop album with the entire record clocking in at less than 40 minutes. Easily the best track in the record is the heart-wrenching ballad hit "Bad Day". Powter shines best vocally here, with his falsetto able to bring lasting emotional effects on the listener with its sad-toned piano and fantastic lyrics. Daniel definitely does best musically on the piano, and should've probably showcased more of his skills on the album as its graceful and beautiful. Lyrically speaking it's something we can all identify with, verses about how life is not going our way and bad things occur to us that bring us down. The closing track "Give Me Life" is definitely a good way to end the album, with another moving melody along with his croony and interesting falsetto. Lyrically-speaking it isn't as impressive as the rest of the album. The majority of the 10 songs in the album are written by Powter himself, not like the numerous pop artists who have producers like Harmony Samuels pen them a potential pop hit. The fact that Daniel can pull off an album that is mostly song-written by him is pretty impressive, and showcases the fantastic ability that he has managed to acquire.
The self-titled major label debut is an otherwise promising showing from Daniel Powter. The immense variety of styles in the album is both astonishing and impressive, with emotionally-charged tracks like "Bad Day" and "Give Me Life" leading the way. Unfortunately, songs like "Suspect" and the confusing "Lie To Me" showcase some of his bland and uninspired songwriting which plague the album a bit, along with his falsetto that while it is solid it definitely is nothing like Sam Smith or other pop artists. It's unfortunate that his music career never took off, while he's still at it musically he's not obviously a major player in the industry like most one-hit wonders are. Definitely one of the more underrated pop albums of 2006 for certain, and undoubtedly in the new millennium.