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Daniel Merriweather - 'Red'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:58 UK time, Friday, 15 May 2009

Daniel MerriweatherFor someone who has now appeared on three chart hits, Daniel Merriweather is a curiously low-profile singing sensation, judged more by the company he keeps - Ronson, Wiley - than for his winning way with a tune. Which is strange because he's a good looking fella with a more-than-decent set of pipes, by rights we should already be sick of the sight of him, the paps should be all over him like skin on a chicken, and he should be swaggering about like Robbie Williams in a hall of mirrors.

I mean, what's the use in having a modest pop star? Being down-to-earth and normal is what us un-famous people are for.

(Here's the video. Switch a light on, willya?)

Not that this song is going to do anything to change this state of affairs. A mournful, soulful account of a ruined relationship which owes a slight debt to 'Everybody's Talkin', with a swooping enormochorus. Daniel once again sings his heart out, and once again just misses perfection by a margin of only a millimetre or so.

I can't tell if it's the quiet, uncharismatic way he has about him or the song's melodic weak spots which is the problem - for all that the chorus is great, there's a bridge which doesn't really work - but somehow this isn't an easy song to get excited about.

Then there's the niggling strangeness about the last line in the chorus. It's the bit which should entirely cement the point Dan's making to the person he loves, but it seems to have been compromised by the need to find a word that rhymes with "head" (unless there's an undercurrent of domestic violence to the song that I've entirely missed, and the red means blood).

I mean, what's so bad about painting something red?

Here's how the chorus goes, in my head at least:

"I can't do this by myself" Oh man I have SO been there...
"All of these problems, they're all in your head" That's my life, man..
"And I can't be somebody else" Oh Daniel, how do you KNOW me so well?
"You took something perfect..." Ooh yeah, here it comes. You are NAILED, situation!
"...and painted it red" Uh...really? Hmm...

Still, at least he didn't name the entire song after that bit, eh? That would be cracke...oh.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 18th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

The Beat Review says:
"It's an effortless performance that gives him a bit of edge."

Monkeyboxing says:
"If anyone can point out how this is substantially different from the last power ballad released by Robbie Williams, let me know"
Cafe Maroon says:
"['Red'] describes what we all go through in life, relationships and heartache."


  • Comment number 1.

    I love him, he has such a great voice!
    I'm so glad he's getting recognised more now - he deserves it!

  • Comment number 2.

    Meh. This song is so bland!

    It's hard to like it because it's that lack luster, I don't really notice it's playing.

    When I do notice it though, I, like you, Fraser, get a bit caught up in the lyrics.

    Painting things Red isn't all that bad is it? Maybe Mr. Merriweather doesn't like red? Perhaps he had a bad experience with the colour as a child and now his awful girlfriend has left him with something akin to Stockholm Syndrome?

    Perhaps I'm over thinking it.


  • Comment number 3.

    Daniel looks great and has an excellent singing voice......:

    "Stop me "with Mark Ronson was outstandingly good, but then it was an excellent Smiths song to begin with...

    For me there is something missing... it might be the lack of excitement in the song or the pedestrian delivery and demeanour... I like my stars to have that certain magical quality that sets them apart from the norm..... for all of Daniel's clear talent I feel slightly un moved...

    Basically I think I am agreeing with the review.....

  • Comment number 4.

    In comparison...



    Enter Shikari


    exciting , magical and grabs your attention , and has clear star quality...

    It basically stresses my point about buzz and excitement....


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