Daley, The Spectrum | Album Review
Talented, though underappreciated British R&B singer Daley returns with an excellent sophomore album with The Spectrum.
Despite being underrated, Gareth Daley – better known by mononym Daley – is an extremely talented artist. Vocally, the British R&B singer has mad chops. Unfortunately, stateside, his debut 2014 debut album, Days & Nights, didn’t get a lot of commercial buzz. Nonetheless, he returns with a captivating sophomore LP, The Spectrum. Once more, his immense talent is on display.
“Until the Pain is Gone”
Following the tone setting “Introlude,” Daley amplifies the emotions on the soulful “Until the Pain is Gone,” featuring Jill Scott. It initiates lushly, showcasing its urban identity from the onset. While it’s old school, the vibe is refreshing because rarer as opposed to being the dominant flavor. Making a formidable team, Daley and Scott deliver authentic performances about the plight of love.
On “Selfish” Daley balances his natural, chest voice and falsetto seamlessly. Strings, particularly cello, add a lovely, classy touch to the production work here. What does he need to be selfish about? Expressing how he feels, telling you “what’s on his mind.”
“Temple” initiates mysteriously, with a low-key sensibility. Interestingly, the record has a moody, alternative R&B feel, while still maintaining the soul we’re accustomed to hearing from Daley. The chorus is a surefire highlight, as is the powerful ending. While Daley may be singing about a “Slow Burn,” the record itself isn’t the least bit slow. Rhythmic drums and a sick bass line anchor one of the funkiest joints of The Spectrum. Falsetto is readily available – that’s a definite pro.
“Sympathy” continues the swagger exhibited by “Slow Burn.” Slickly produced, once again, Daley plays the balancing act. The guitars are funky of old, yet this throwback joint feels fresh in 2017. Still, this has 70s and 80s written all over it, with a lot of Prince cues in play.
“The Only One”
Naturally, “The Only One” slackens the pace after a pair of quicker, more rhythmic cuts. Set in six-eight, this exemplifies the powerful, moving slow jam. Arguably, “The Only One” is one of Daley’s best and most emotional performances from The Spectrum. “On Fire” accelerates the pace, offering up a rhythmic, mid-tempo joint. The soul cues are in place – busy rhythmic funk guitar, anchoring groove, and potent vocals. “Second to None” slows things once more. In good old common time, the relaxed pace allows Daley to do some serious work with his pipes. Both smooth and connected, he remains on autopilot.
“True” is arguably the most unique song from The Spectrum. It’s somewhat off-putting initially, before it fully develops. Even given a slow start, Daley continues to shine vocally, impressing with the amount of poise and control he showcases. Once “True” fully blooms, it’s a force to be reckoned with. “Distance” is smooth and well performed overall. Sound, it doesn’t necessarily entice as much as the crème de la crème, but still, rock solid.
The falsetto leads the way on “The Fabric (For Richard).” Unhurried, the purity of the vocals is on display once more. “The Fabric” isn’t the most exciting song, but ultimately, it’s beautiful. Like “True,” it shines more as it percolates. “Careless” concludes The Spectrum, finding Daley assisted by Chiiild. There’s more of a contemporary vibe compared to other songs from the album. That said, this also takes it back to house music.
All in all, Daley drops an excellent sophomore album with The Spectrum. Vocally, he sounds on-point throughout the entirety of the project. Face it, it’s hard to find someone with a sweeter falsetto. There are no duds, though arguably, the project loses a bit of steam towards the end. Regardless, The Spectrum was worth the three-year hiatus and underappreciated or not, Daley is a beast.
Gems: “Until the Pain is Gone,” “Selfish,” “Temple,” “Slow Burn,” “Sympathy” & “The Only One”
Daley • The Spectrum • BMG Rights Management • Release: 7.14.17
Photo Credit: BMG Rights Management