Daniel Powter

Studio Album by released in 2005

Daniel Powter review

Daniel Powter looks set to have quite a few good days following the success of his breakthrough single, Bad Day. The track has enjoyed massive success across mainland Europe and helped turn Powter, a Canadian singer and keyboard player, into something of a household name. The self-titled debut album follows pretty much the same format – heartfelt songs, passionately sung, with pop-driven beats and plenty of keyboards. The style is vaguely reminiscent of David Gray and James Blunt, with a touch of Coldplay and Keane thrown in for good measure.

Bad Day, '70s-era piano power ballad, is a remarkably infectious pop song and one of the many highlights from Powter's debut album. It's sure to have everyone singing along, much like REM's Everybody Hurts – only more upbeat. Produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Suzanne Vega, Los Lobos) and Powter's long-term collaborator Jeff Dawson, the album confirms Powter's fine songwriting talents with standout tracks such as the memorable opening track Song 6, the driving melodies of Suspect and the delicate New Radicals-esque ballad Jimmy Gets High. Powter's vocals are strong, occasionally adopting a falsetto style that helps to break up the sound. Lie To Me, for instance, is an upbeat track that is sung in almost a scream. Impressive, too, is the oddly named Styrofoam, a bleak self-portrait that resonates with the same intensity of a Keane track (especially in its use of piano). While Hollywood is a cool fusion of soulful jazz that's about as nasty a depiction of showbiz sleaze as you've ever heard.

Raised in British Columbia, Canada, vocalist and keyboard player Daniel Powter was a talented violinist as a child, yet dyslexia made it hard for him to read music and therefore to keep progressing as a classical musician. Powter, a fan of Prince, Fleetwood Mac and Duran Duran, concentrated his talents on the piano; a move that not only allowed him far greater musical freedom, but also impressed the girls more than the violin ever could. Powter enrolled as a music student in Edmonton, but once again reading music proved to be a hindrance. He dropped out, moved to Vancouver and started working with Dawson. The duo complimented each other perfectly and Powter found writing and creating music to be a faster and more satisfying process than ever before. Powter was soon signed to Warner Bros. and the pair began working on the album with Froome, whose ability as a session player as well as a producer adds such a rich variety of textures to the album. Daniel Powter makes music that is an intriguing mix, superbly crafted edgy pop, catchy rhythms, rock solid hooks and deeply soulful vocals. It should be applauded that a man like Powter has triumphed over adversity with dyslexia to write his own songs and release them through a major label. Not many people can claim that achievement.