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Love & War

Studio Album by released in 2009

Love & War review

Daniel Merriweather, an Australian Justin Timberlake

Daniel Merriweather is a 26-years-old singer and songwriter; he has already received numerous comments on his debut album Love & War including comparisons with Justin Timberlake. He was born and bred in a blue-collar family of Melbourne, Australia. While a teenager, Daniel constantly got into troubles and though, he managed to avoid jail, eventually ended up with the school expeltion. It was practically the first step to his music career. He began singing on the streets of Melbourne to make ends meet but luckily music had always been an integral part of his life. At the age of 4 he started playing violin without reading music. At 13 he already played Vivaldi concertos by ear, still not knowing how to read music. But what has always been Daniel’s passion is singing – he even calls his voice his “first real musical instrument”. Back in Australia he cooperated with the indie-label Marlin that quickly brought him popularity. He even started writing songs for his first album that, however, was doomed to be released a bit later. His fate brought him to Mark Ronson – producer, musician and one of the Allido Records founders, who helped Daniel recording his debut album Love & War which has taken him 18 months. During this time Merriweather toured along with Ronson, cured a polyp on his vocal chords and record songs. Thus Love & War was born – emotional, passionate and extremely beautiful.

Merging styles create novelty on Love & War

The critics still cannot agree about the style Merriweather’s songs belong to – whether it is soul, pop, R'n'B or something else. Or maybe everything at the same time? Yet after listening to the record one gets the feeling of eternal lightness and novelty. The opener For Your Money is destined to become a hit. This is the story of life in an enormous metropolis of New York, with its ups and downs. In the beginning of the track Daniel’s dazzling voice is accompanied by a romantic piano, later followed by drums and electro-guitar to finish everything with a fabulous sound of the best-of-the-century pop style. The song sets the high standard for the whole record and it’s position of the album opener is absolutely justified. The enchanting beat of Impossible creates an inspiring and vibrating atmosphere stating that nothing is impossible for someone in love. The next track is Change, it features Merriweather’s fellow Allido rapper Wale. The guys have done a great job by creating a good and accredited R'n'B track which is why Change is the the album’s first single. Chainsaw questions the necessity of a destructive love. Cigarettes and Red are recorded with the soft pop approach; they draw the attention to Merriweather’s ability to create multidimensional music. On Water And A Flame finds starring Adele, a soul-singer who has proved to be one of the best in her field. Their vocals, so different and similar at the same time, create a wonderfully sensuous and airy duet.

An inspiring album of juxtapositions

No doubt Love & War will bring Daniel Merriweather world popularity. The album turns out to be immensely multifaceted, inspiring and passionate. The title speaks for itself – love and war, two contrasts that move the world. Daniel’s last name, Merriweather, also has a romantic vibe, creating an image of a wandering knight praising the love of his life. Simultaneously Love & War is quite an urban album, it is a kind of prism through which Merriweather looks at the ‘metropolises of his life’ – Melbourne and New-York, each of them being hectic and ordered, unreasonable and leveled in their own way. In fact, the record could be an incredible soundtrack for some urban legend, it’s perfect in creating both endlessly lofty and extremely down-to-earth characters. Daniel may be placed in one row with such eminent stars as Amy Winehouse, Nas, Adele without overestimating his talent. His soaring and enchanting voice knows no boundaries of any specific style – here we find the traces of pop, jazz, funk, soul and the list may be continued. Each composition is as though juxtaposed to the following one, living in an endless extravagance of keyboards, strings, percussion and the vocals. Love & War is so powerful that both hopeless romantics and convinced cynics are sure to love it.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (10.06.2009)
Rate review3.16
Total votes - 18