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Where We Land

Damien Leith

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Album Review

Damien Leith first came to prominence as the winner of the fourth series of Australian Idol in 2006, but in a break with past winners of that show, he did not immediately rush into the studio for a quickly slapped together album consisting largely of outside material and covers, instead demanding that he be given time to record a proper album. (As a result, Leith's debut album, The Winner's Journey, consisted of both sides of his debut single, including the Idol finale song "Night of My Life," plus most of his performances from the show itself, including a standout take on the Split Enz single "Message to My Girl.") Released in 2007, Where We Land is Leith's bow as a serious recording artist, and it's easily a step above most of the post-Idol debut albums around the world, faint praise though that may be. Comparisons to another Irish-born acoustic singer/songwriter called Damien are perhaps inevitable — Leith's audition song for the series, in fact, was Damien Rice's "The Blower's Daughter" — and while Leith is a less subtle singer, even going so far as to record that tired piece of faux-Irish claptrap "Danny Boy," he's not at all shamed in the comparison. A solid vocalist with a killer falsetto and an adequate songwriter in the mold of Rice, Paolo Nutini, or James Blunt, Leith is well served by the warm and not super-slick production and mellow acoustic-based arrangements. Where We Land is hardly a great album, but it's better than one might reasonably expect from a winner of one of the Pop Idol spinoffs, and fans of the new breed of sensitive folkie guys will appreciate tunes like the polished pure pop single "All I Want Is You" and a graceful take on Canadian singer/songwriter Andy Stochansky's "22 Steps."

Biography

Born: 18 January 1976 in County Kildare, Ireland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Damien Leith was one of the myriad young singers launched to success via the international television phenomenon Pop Idol. Born January 18, 1976, in County Kildare, Ireland, Leith spent his childhood in locales as far-flung as Libya and Botswana, thanks to his father's work as an engineer. As a teen he and his siblings formed the band Leaf, later recording in New York City under the name Releaf. After marrying an Australian...
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Where We Land, Damien Leith
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