Music Reviews

Howie Day

Stop All the World Now


Singer/songwriters are now officially all the rage. Since John Mayer burst onto the scene, labels have, it seems, been clamoring to sign anyone with a guitar and a few self-penned songs. Following the likes of Josh Kelley, Jason Mraz and Matt Nathanson is 22-year-old Howie Day, an artist who has been under the radar since his self-released debut Australia.

Stop All The World Now is a more polished affair compared to its predecessor’s sparse arrangements and acoustic backbone, something which might disappoint long-time fans, but a necessary move in the cut-throat radio-dominated music biz.

The evolution of “She Says” from a solo acoustic tune to one wrapped in layers of lush instrumentation might also surprise a few people. But as the hauntingly beautiful “Collide” demonstrates, Day and producer Youth have made the most of a major label recording budget by creating a distinct, rich album full of excellent introspective tunes.

Day’s voice sounds too powerful to come from a guy as young as he is, and towards the end of the excellent “Perfect Time of Day” he sounds uncannily like Bono. I challenge you to tell the difference. Yet, on slower tracks like “End of Our Days,” Day demonstrates a delicate restraint in his voice. And, “Sunday Morning Song” is a less-produced song with a jazzy groove that Day revels in.

Fans already familiar with Day will be unhappy that his sound has been homogenized to an extent, but others will be grateful for the emergence of a real, visible talent instead of being exposed to yet another Muppet from American Idol.

Howie Day:

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