Album – Something to Talk About – Nick Howard

Posted by admin on May 3rd, 2008

  • Band / Artist : Nick HowardmySpace
  • Genre : Pop / Rock / Acoustic
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : CD Baby
  • Buy Digital Download : N/A
  • Rating : 9 out of 10

Young, good looking, good voice and English too. Well enough about me and more about Nick Howard, who also shares these similar traits. OK, So maybe I can claim 1 of the 4, but this isn’t about me, this is about a phenomenal talent, brought to my attention by a long running friend of Indie Launchpad. When they approached me with a few of Nick’s tracks, I had a listen and was eager to find out more.

Having already played “A Better Man” on the podcast, I was really looking forward to hearing the full album, as there is a sound here, very reminiscent of Nik Kershsaw, another cracking English songwriter, who had several hits in the 80’s, but also had a phenomenal album, To Be Frank, released in 2002. Nick shares many of the same qualities, that make listening to his album a sheer joy.

“A Better Man” opens the album, and the first thing that hits you is Nick’s great voice. Not only is the tone, just right, but there’s a great clarity, which makes listening a sheer joy. Musically, there is also much to love, from the drums to the lovely guitar work that bubbles under nicely. “Wrap Your Streets” has an ever so slightly darker edge to it, but it’s really something that is nice to find, as this is an album that could easily have gone down the boy band route, and faded into bubblegum popdom, fortunately there is so much more to it than that. “Should’ve Know Better”, has something of note happening with the vocals, which are looser, with almost a tiredness to them. I’m not sure if this is intentional, or if it’s the 99th take of the vocals, but it’s something I find very real and doesn’t detract from this wonderful track in the slightest.

“The Pressure” is a very pianocentric track, in the very best tradition of Billy Joel, but with a Nick Howard sound, securely stamped on it. This also would have been a great track to end the album on, as it has that strong feel, of drawing to a conclusion. “Bullied By My Dream” reminds me of a pop/rock track of a few years ago, not that I mention this to detract from the song, rather that it’s interesting to hear other influences, whether they be intentional or otherwise. “My Mistake” is a very nicely balanced track, and there’s just something about the drums on this track, that really grabs the attention of my ears.

“On The Outside Looking In” is an interesting track. Although Nick is from England, and to me, that is very evident in his music, this track has a very American sound. It’s still a very pleasant track, but for me, it kind of sticks out from the other tracks. Of course this is probably just me, but I’ve listened to the album on a good many occasions and every time, I get to this track, it kind of gives me a gentle slap, if you know what I mean.

Heading into the last third of the album, things really loosen up with “I Don’t Really Care”, both in the music and this time in the vocals that this time, just sound like someone feeling very comfortable. Drawing the album to a gentle and relaxed end is “Up and Down”, a relaxed track with very prominent vocals, which just goes to reiterate how good Nick’s voice is. “One Night in the City” is a fitting end to a wonderful album, which could also be easily released as a single.

Conclusion : This is an album that has been playing constantly in my car. The winter is subsiding, threatening to turn to summer and this is just one of those albums that going to fill my ears as the wind works it’s way through my hair, driving with the windows down. Superb.

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