DALEY DAYS + NIGHTS (Republic) @@@
How about some new music with a curly ginger haired soul crooner? No, I’m not referring to the lovely Swede Erik Hassle, but an equally lovely Brit, Daley. This is basically as good as it can get. Strong, dedicated and hearty soul, that at it’s best even integrates elements of hip hop and 90’s trip hop in to the mix. All delivered with a healthy portion of sincerity and passion through Daley’s gentle vocals and lyrics, even though he occasionally pushes towards worn out clichés. But all the same there’s something that holds me back from wholeheartedly surrendering to Daleys debut album. I keep twisting and turning about this and finally realize that he’s carrying a heavy tail of worship and respect towards the legacy his reaching for. This tail weighs him down in parts of the album, making one third of this beautiful debut a rather dull one, without a clear profile, rather than seamless what I guess is what he was aiming for.
But when he doesn’t try as hard and just lets go of the calculated idea, he’s brilliant. Then he is the soul he reaches for. Just listen to the vibrating 90’s hommage Good news and the touching duet with Martha Ambroisus (of Floetry fame), Alone together . Or the lovely opening track Time travel, the most contemporary piece of Days + Nights. But first and foremost the album’s best and most heartfelt track, Look up, the Pharrell Williams-produced little masterpiece; musically full-bodied, light and airy, but with the lyrical stinge of defeat. Soul perfection. So I do expect there’s more to come from this Manchester-born crooner, even though this debut leaves me in parts, wishing for more.