Daniel Powter – Turn On The Lights (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
DANIEL Powter returns with his first new album since overcoming drink and drug abuse, revitalised and hoping to recapture the popularity that saw his most famous single, Bad Day, turn him into one of the most popular singers on the planet.
Admittedly, the early signs are promising with his lead single, Cupid, having enjoyed massive success in the US.
But while that track offers a genuinely appealing mix of hooks and melodies, as well as optimistic, sing-along vocals on the nature of love, the album itself is more divided between the pure breeze pop tracks such as Cupid and Birthday Suits and others of greater introspection.
Listening to songs like Selfish and What I Meant To Say, you can’t help but feel Powter is exploring some of the issues and emotions he encountered during those years of self-enforced rehabilitation.
At others, meanwhile, he turns his attention to global issues, with Come Back Home inspired by a day he spent with the crew of the USS Ashcroft in San Diego and the hope that this bunch of kids (most of whom were 18 and 19 and in charge of a nuclear powered submarine) come back safe.
Throughout, though, Powter finds a nice mix between the breeze pop and the more ballad-style songs, while remaining radio friendly throughout.
The highlights, meanwhile, come in the form of the aforementioned Cupid, which is a pleasantly giddy celebration of love, Come Back Home, which is a heartfelt power ballad with lyrics that should resonate, Selfish, which offers a brutally honest dissection of a failed relationship, and Birthday Suits, which bounces along in sexy fashion with some of the sharpest melodies on the LP.
Worth checking out, too, is The Day We Never Met, which intriguingly examines a relationship in reverse and comes dripping with sharp melodies and Beach Boys inspired harmonising.
If anything, the album is at its best and most universally appealing when keeping things upbeat but Powter’s soulful vocals provide a good focal point for whatever tempo the songs are delivered in and he remains an endearing presence throughout.
It’s good to have him back.
Download picks: Cupid, Birthday Suits, Selfish, The Day We Never Met
- Buy it (Amazon)
- Daniel Powter - The IndieLondon interview
- Turn On The Lights reviewed
- Daniel Powter reviewed