Friday, January 27, 2017

Daley-Days & Nights (2014)


Four days ago, I'd enjoyed the best forty-nine minutes of pop music all year so far with Shayne Ward's self-titled debut album. On this final Friday of January, I enjoyed the best 53 minutes of pop music so far this year! That 53 minutes, however, is a bit of a stretch, thanks to the bonus track I've included on "Days & Nights", the debut album by an amazing British singer who calls himself Daley. It was way back around November of 2011 when I had gotten formally introduced to this guy, having been recommended the song "Smoking Gun" and finding myself impressed enough to dive into his music further at a later date. Fast-forward to 2017, where I would be impressed with "Smoking Gun" anew, liking how the lyrics metaphorically refer to him practically being shot down by love: the blood on his hands, the bullet through the girl's heart, him being on the run for the murderous act..... But it's Daley's marvelously soulful voice that totally sells this song—more than the high-quality synthpop sound whose pounding beat brings it to contemporary-listening standards and the backup singers chanting ' if it's gonna be over ' in the quieting final movements—and it's that same gift that sells the remainder of this album! There are many moments here where all I could do is simply sit back, listen and marvel at his stunning vocal output: the funky "Blame The World"; "Love And Affection", where he demands that the girl makes love with real affection and sing with real dedication (his voice just shines beautifully against the minimal piano and slow drum beat); the nicely chilled "Alone Together"; and the one that emerged as my #1 favorite overall due to his powerful, over-the-top performance simply titled "Broken", where his emotional vows to never fall in love again make for quite the epic masterpiece! Then there were the moments where I was totally caught up in the groovy beats: "Good News", the old-school-sounding feel-gooder "Pass It On" and the cool title track, where that distinctively throwback synthpop sound featured on "Smoking Gun" is heard again. As for his songwriting brilliance—well that's demonstrated on every one of these thirteen tracks and something I'd already taken notice of from my very first listen to "Smoking Gun". Additional songwriting highlights include the haunting, exotically ambient opening number, "Time Travel"; "Love Somebody" (I like the image he portrays when he talks about putting your own head in a noose when you're in love) and another favorite of mine; and "Look Up", where his words of sending fallen stars back in time so that they can shine for the girl are some of the most poetic ones you'll hear throughout this captivating "Days & Nights" adventure:

1. Time Travel
2. Look Up
3. Blame The World
4. Good News
5. Love And Affection
6. Be
7. Alone Together (Ft. Marsha Ambrosius)
8. Pass It On
9. Broken
10. She Fades
11. Love Somebody
12. Days & Nights

*****BONUS TRACK*****

13. Smoking Gun

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