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Daniel Powter Under The Radar Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

It's hard to see it causing much of a blip.

Jerome Blakeney 2008

It's an unusual title for an album by the Canadian singer songwriter. Produced (and heavily co-written) by star polisher, Linda Perry (the woman beind everyone from Pink to Kelly Osbourne and responsible for signing Powter's closest rival, James Blunt, in the States); this third album certainly isn't vying for invisibility. It attempts to properly build on a career that exists mainly on the strength of one world-conquering hit (and advertiser's friend): Bad Day.

Powter's subsequent inability to really capitalise on the aforementioned hit is underlined by the UK version of the album's inclusion of a 'bonus' live version of the song. Yet it succeeds in doing what it sets out to do: providing inoffensive pop for people who don't really want anything too challenging on the car stereo.

As with his previous, Mitchell Froom-produced album, it's full of sweetly melodic adult pop that nods towards the Beatles while having just enough modern trappings to escape being termed retro.

As with much of Perry's productions, this is high precision songcraft with a gaping hole at its heart. Its place belongs at the end of an episode of Grey's Anatomy or behind another commercial. Powter's voice is perfectly fine but without a trademark USP like Blunt's squeak (unless you count the hat) the album comes across as an indisquingishable lump of AOR ear candy, slickly moving from piano ballad to mid-pace bouncer with nary a ripple.

The sleeve note 'thank yous' fall over themselves to thank the record company, as well they might: much money and time have obviously been spent on Under The Radar. But it's hard to see it causing much of a blip.

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