I have to say that I was wrong about Daniel Powter. I assumed from his first release, “Bad Day”, from his upcoming self-titled CD, that he was another pop artist who was able to create a catchy song with a great hook. A possible one hit wonder. But after listening to the complete album, it is plain to see that my assumption was completely erroneous.
Powter, a native of Canada’s west coast, is no pop star. He’s had the success of one though, with almost one million records sold to date, and his single, mentioned above, is topping the charts in Canada, Germany, Australia, and France. Now, Powter looks to take his engaging falsetto, and R&B inspired sound, south to the U.S.
This debut album is a study in contrasts. On one side, it’s a smooth fusion of R&B, pop, and rock that gives the impression of thoughtful composition. On the other, it is a mix of lyrical experiments that are anything but mainstream. Songs like “Jimmy Gets High”, “Styrofoam”, and “Hollywood” are charged with a healthy sense of cynicism but are by no means depressed in their delivery. His music is quite the opposite. And, to his credit, Daniel has the amazing ability to bring an upbeat vibe that carries through this entire CD, even though his message can be anything but.
I envision several hits to follow “Bad Day”. Songs like “Song 6”, “Free Loop”, and “Lie” are my picks for potential chart toppers. Each of them delivers a mix that is terminally infectious. You can’t help but surrender yourself to Daniel’s vocal charms, and the depth of his delivery. He’s the type of performer that could take the most nonsensical lyrics and meld them into one beautiful harmony that will have you entranced.
Overall, this album is far from your average ‘play it safe’ debut. Daniel knows his range, both musically and lyrically, and he does his best to give us a full picture of who he truly is. And he has to be respected for taking chances on this CD, because, in the end, we are the better for it. Listeners will come to realize that Powter has a lot to say, and the talent to back it up. There is no doubt that he has the chops to carry himself for several more albums. And it’s going to be very interesting to see where his creative inspirations take him, and his, music next.
To those of you who will be hearing “Bad Day” on your radio soon, don’t be too eager to dismiss him as just another manufactured artist blended with a catchy song. It would be a mistake as you would be missing a great release from a truly inspired artist.