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Daniel Powter

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Album Review

In every country where he climbed into the Top Ten — whether it was his native Canada, the U.K., various territories in Europe, or the U.S., where he was helped enormously by being featured on American Idol — Daniel Powter had his breakthrough hit with "Bad Day," a loping, sunny tune that pretty much has the opposite sentiment of its title. It's a good signature song, encapsulating everything charming and slightly irritating about the singer/songwriter: it's effortlessly, even incandescently, melodic, immediately working its way into the subconscious, where it will never leave (at least not for a good week or so), and it's given an artful contemporary production, which is classic enough to place Powter and his hooks in the forefront, yet it's dressed with just enough modern touches in its rolling rhythms, keyboards, and guitars so it doesn't sound retro. That song is the template for the rest of his debut, Daniel Powter, and while there's nothing quite as grabbing as that tune, there's nothing alienating, either, which is not only to Powter's credit, but to that of his producer, Mitchell Froom. Best known for his fussy, elaborately arty productions for such '90s adult alternative mainstays as Crowded House, los Lobos, Richard Thompson, and Suzanne Vega, Froom retains his mastery of the studio but abandons his affectations here, turning Daniel Powter into an AAA record that simply sounds appealing. And that word pretty much describes Powter himself, particularly when he's doing melodic midtempo pop like "Bad Day," which is just often enough to make this record quite likeable. Not that he always has perfect pitch here — when it comes to ballads, he has a bit of a tin ear, turning toward the sappy, and he has an unfortunate tendency to slide into Jamiriquoi-styled lite funk (very lite funk), plus his words tend to fall apart into a series of trite clichés if they're inspected too closely. Nevertheless, as a record — as a series of expertly produced, expertly recorded adult pop tunes — Daniel Powter is a debut that's easy to enjoy, thanks to Powter's melodic skills and sweet voice, both reminiscent of a less idiosyncratic, streamlined Elton John.

Customer Reviews


Absolutely fantastic.....Amazing vocals, great piano and strings, and a beat that beats anything that Mariah or The Peas could drop. It really frightens me that High School Musical gets in the top ten (number 1, no less) and this guy wasn't even recognized. I first heard "Bad Day" on the free song of the week, and my expectations were not that high. I was blown away by the power in his voice and simplicity and beauty of his lyrics. This album is worth every penny, my personal favorites being: Jimmy Gets High Bad Day Free Loop Song 6 Hollywood and Give Me Life He's one of the best muscians in years, so turn down Gwen and check him out!

fantastic album

I really have nothing but good things to say about Daniel Powter. I first started out with Bad Day when it was a free download from Itunes and was surprised at how it really wasn't like bad music that they couldn't get rid of. I loved that song, and after I heard a few songs while I was vacationing in the Cayman Islands I bought the whole album, which is very impressive. His music has a sort of Gavin DeGraw feel to it with piano pieces in the songs that, to me, just bring it to life. He sounds very much like Keane if you listen, too. Great album, great buy. You should definitely get this!

Underestimated is an exaggeration

It is very strange that so many amazing songs and albums are huge hits in Europe, but go unnoticed in the US. This is one of those. "Bad Day" and "Song 6" speak for themselves. "Bad Day" in particular, is just amazing (it spent several weeks in the UK Top 5). The entire album has so many great songs, listing them would bore you. There is no mistake in buying this album. Buy it! After listening to this, also check out Powter's EPs.


Born: February 25, 1971 in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Daniel Powter, the Canadian who stormed the European charts in 2005 with his single "Bad Day" (from his 2005 self-titled release), was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, picking up the violin at the age of four. By the time he was a teenager, however, he had switched to piano and began performing at his high school. He enrolled in Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, where he studied music, dropping out after two years due to difficulties on account of his dyslexia....
Full Bio
Daniel Powter, Daniel Powter
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Customer Ratings