Daniel Merriweather: Love & War

RIYL: Mark Ronson, Al Green, Elton John

It is said that late is better than never, but in an industry where timing is everything, the decision to push Love & War, the solo debut of Australian soul singer Daniel Merriweather – it is actually his second album; his first one remains unreleased – to 2010 is a curious one. If memory serves, the first word to come out about the album dropped in late 2007, presumably to take advantage of the buzz surrounding Merriweather’s performance of the Smiths’ “Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” on Mark Ronson’s album Version, released earlier that year. So what gives?

Our best guess: too many ballads. Love & War sounds exactly like you would expect a Mark Ronson-produced Daniel Merriweather album to sound. The arrangements are vintage soul and cutting-edge recording techniques at the same time, and Merriweather, who sounds like a soulful version of UB40’s Ali Campbell, emotes the ever-loving daylights out of these songs. The results are consistently pleasant and occasionally stunning, notably the horn-drenched “Change,” the Al Green-ish “Getting Out,” and the “California Dreamin'”-cribbing “Could You.” Give Merriweather credit for aiming high – the opening track “For Your Money” sports half a dozen key changes – but a few more shifts in tempo would have worked wonders. (J Records 2010)

Daniel Merriweather MySpace page
Click to buy Love & War from Amazon


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