Sunday, November 18, 2012

#120: Howie Day - Stop All the World Now (2003)

I decided to review this album because I thought I may have been too harsh on this album in the past. On the first listen I didn't necessarily care for it and it's slowly grown on me over time. When musicians are arrested or are caught doing something they shouldn't how disgusted I am is oppositely proportional to how good the musician is. If they're amazing then I'm inclined to let it slide, but I'm not sure how to size up Howie Day's personal arrest record.

Howie Day is extremely talented, he's got a great voice, and he's a good song writer. That being said I think that this is the best you can expect from an album such as this. It's not a bad album by any stretch but acoustic soft rock isn't necessarily a new genre, so if you're going to record that type of music you need to do it extremely, extremely well or add something new to the genre. Since Day doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table the most he can really hope for is a big, giant hit. This song does fit the bill. The harmonies are amazing, the strings bring a lot of warmth and energy to it, and lyrically and melodically it's very strong. It's a great song. I may not listen to this album all that often but this song is absolute money.

Trouble in Here
To a certain degree I think Day would have been huge if this album came out four years prior, to a day when the Goo Goo Dolls were big. There are plenty of difference between the two bands but they're very similar in many ways. It's not that this album is bad, it's just a little worn out for me. You can really tell that he has a lot of talent which this video absolutely proves. His much uses excessive vamping (but never in a overbearing way) which lends itself well to looping music while performing live.

Sunday Morning Song
Very cool, laid back guitar part - it's almost a little Jack Johnson-y. Then again, it's a little harder because no man is more laid back than Johnson. I wish I had more nice things to say about this album, it's alright - it just doesn't do much for me. I do love his voice, the man can sing. He doesn't have one of those 'golden voices' but he knows what he has and he knows how to use it.

All in all, it's a lot like the first time I heard this album. There's nothing that really grabbed me outside of Collide. It's not a bad record by any stretch but it doesn't really feels like it adds anything or does anything better than anything else. Dynamically nothing really happens there's no kind of hits or accents throughout the entirety of the album which makes it drone on more than it should. I do appreciate the creative risks he took on 'This Time Around' and I do think there is a beauty in the simplicity of the music and the simplicity of the production. The man clearly has talent and I think I need to grab another one of his CDs, however this is one of those unfortunate albums where it's all downhill after the big single.

Tomorrow's album: The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

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