Published Feb 11, 2014For a new R&B singer, there are few things as bold as pairing up with Marsha Ambrosius for a duet. But of course, the song "Alone Together" is probably why you know the name Daley. Not content with merely playing the guest, the 24-year-old Mancunian seeks to win us over with his debut full length, Days & Nights. The results are mostly positive on this healthy set of strong songs, of which only a couple are skippable.
While Marsha Ambrosius is the only featured guest vocalist on the project, there's no shortage of notable collaborators hidden amongst the liner notes. Toronto producer Illangelo kicks off the album with "Time Travel," a side-chained pad-heavy number that quickly jumps from mellow to spastic, only to be followed by Pharrell's light string-driven plucked guitar groove, "Look Up." For "Blame The World," super producer Shea Taylor masterfully re-interprets William Bell's "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" to give Days & Nights one of its edgier songs.
Daley's performances across the album are confident and well executed, but the writing is a little too predictable at times and only dampens the desired emotional resonance. There is an overt attempt to inspire and uplift, but like an inspirational quote shared on Instagram, receptiveness to that will vary.
Still, this is not a bad album in the least, as there is far more to enjoy than there is to nit-pick. Daley has proven his ability to churn out great songs and Days & Nights has enough of those to overlook its occasional flaws.
Read an interview with Daley here. (Republic/Universal)