Australian crooner has proved himself over the past few months that he deserved something more than just being behind the limelight for almost the rest of his previous career. He’s been in the industry for quite a while and so far before his debut single was released, only Mark Ronson could help him out by giving him a stint in one of his records. Fortunately, Daniel is out to the limelight with his singles “Change” and “Red” reaching the top 10 in the charts, it’s no wonder if Daniel could pull of a massive, impressive and crafty debut album. After years of struggle, contemplating and of course, realising it’s time for his spotlight, Daniel brings us an album filled with a kaleidoscope of soul anthems brought with enough flourish and panache that puts his name to one of the most sought after male singers of his generation.
Daniel’s neo-soul singing style has placed him to respectable position to put up a nice, decent record. “Love & War” comprises of 12 outstanding tracks that tackle a variety of themes from broken relationships, struggles in living in the city and of course the current state of our over-developed world according to his hit “Change”. Its topics are admirable and easy to relate to with certain likability in every beat it has to offer.
Certain tracks have caught my attention and I want to take note of them each. The opener, “For Your Money” renders his adventures in New York from his home town, Australia. It seems that the song was written in relation to his move from Australia to New York back in the early 2000s. It’s a piano fete with electronic guitar accompaniments that makes the record sound a combination of soul-rock.
The first single “Change”, which is my personal favourite in the album channels its boundaries as it tackles a very mundane subject. Its R&B vibe never failed to deliver Daniel’s artistry. It is somehow danceable and upbeat with rap accompaniment offered by Wale. Brass undercurrents supplied the song with such soul and charisma making it a pop record suited for everyone.
“Water and A Flame” which features British soul/jazz sensation Adele becomes one of the outstanding tracks in the album with its contrasting qualities. The collaboration is somehow perfect with Daniel’s light, soulful voice combined with Adele’s low, jazzy hymn and not to mention its universality, lyrical wise. It proves to be an instant classic and can be a potential #1 single if given the right promotion and enough airplay.
Groovy anthems also circulated throughout the album with the very soul-retro “Impossible” to the break-up themed “Getting Out” and the very motown-ish “Not Giving Up”.
In totality, the album speaks of a fine debut one artist could ever imagine. Impressive cuts and rhythms – this is what gives us the answer to our curiosity of Daniel’s eligibility for superstardom. Tracks that tackle relationships and change in a more worldly perspective, it’s an impressive debut from an underrated artist. “Love and War” screams of identity and recognition. It’s likeable in myriad ways and unlikeable in a minuscule way. And hopefully with this debut, Daniel could be a household name in no time.
RELEASED: June 1, 2009
STAND-OUT TRACKS: “Water and a Flame”, “Red”, “Change”