Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sound The Alarm
Genres: Pop, Rock
2009 album from the acclaimed singer and songwriter, his third studio album overall and the follow-up to his million-selling 2003 album Stop All The World Now and it's hit single 'Collide'. This album comes after more than... more »
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2009 album from the acclaimed singer and songwriter, his third studio album overall and the follow-up to his million-selling 2003 album Stop All The World Now and it's hit single 'Collide'. This album comes after more than a decade of touring, during which the Bangor, Maine native became known for his powerful one-man shows, connecting with audiences through his charm, humor, and the strength of his songwriting. ''This new album represents the end of one era and the start of another,'' Day says. ''It's about tipping your hat to the past, living in the here and now, and looking optimistically toward the future.''
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Howie Day Returns Strong From Extended Hiatus with "Sound Th
Michael Yovkovich | 09/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than six years since his last release, Bangor native Howie Day returns with his third full-length studio effort "Sound The Alarm." During these six years, Day experienced a rollercoaster of events, ranging from the highest of highs (the breakout multi-format radio success of 2004's "Collide") to the lowest of lows (various run-ins with the law eventually leading up to his admission into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center). With "Sound The Alarm," Howie Day explores the depths of these experiences in his most personal release to date. The album plays out as such:
1. So Strung- 8/10
Solid slow moving number with haunting melancholy synths echoing throughout the chorus.
2. Weightless- 8/10
Midtempo piano-driven number that is very catchy. Solid backing vocals during the buildup to the chorus.
3. Longest Night- 10/10
For those who enjoyed "Collide," this is the closest to it you will find on "Alarm." An emotional ballad paired with beautiful lyrics make this an album standout. The verses build up nicely to an uplifting chorus. This is a sure-fire single, and in all likelihood will have Howie Day receiving lots of spins at radio in the coming months.
4. 40 Hours- 8/10
Acoustic guitar driven ballad that employs solid backing vocals and a very pleasant chorus.
5. Be There- 9/10
The first single off the album, this uptempo number is a song Day has been playing since his "Stop All The World Now" tour in 2004. This is an extremely catchy and lyrically strong tune that has been gaining steam at Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats as of late as a result.
6. Everyone Loves To Love A Lie- 8/10
A piano-driven fan favorite that was first released on Day's Myspace page over a year ago, this midtempo tune builds up nicely to a soaring sing-a-long chorus.
7. Undressed- 7/10
A genuine feel-good song, a style that has been absent from other previous Howie Day releases. This tune is pleasant enough with some solid backing vocals, but it doesn't connect as well as the ballads on the album.
8. Sound The Alarm- 8/10
Another piano-driven haunting tune that employs extremely personal lyrics and an on-point emotional delivery. This song has a lot of potential to grow on the listener.
9. No Longer What You Require- 10/10
The second best song on the album, and perhaps the most personal of all tracks. Day recites in the chorus:
"Hey, I could have told you that I loved you and stayed,
Around to kindle the fire but I was late,
On my return and now you've lost all fate,
And I am the liar, I'm no longer what you require."
Beautiful backing vocals, haunting acoustic guitar pickings throughout, an amazing buildup to a full-band finish... this is a true gem.
10. Postcard From Mars- 6/10
Midtempo number that is just not as solid as the other tracks on "Sound The Alarm."
11. Counting On Me- 8/10
A solid midtempo album closer that starts off hauntingly slow with just Day and an acoustic guitar before building up to a full-band powerful finish.
"Sound The Alarm" is a step in the right direction for Howie Day that is sure to please old fans while attracting a whole new crop of listeners as well. After battling many personal demons, one can only hope that Howie Day has shaken off the problems of his past and that it won't be another six years before we hear from this extremely talented musician again."
Exactly What I Require
Ernest McCrackin | PapaBear615 | 09/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first became a Howie Day fan when I saw him live for the first of at least 30 times back at the University of New Hampshire. Being from out west, I hadn't heard of Howie yet--he was a young 18 year old, from nearby Bangor, Maine. I was hooked.
Since the release of his sophomore album, "Stop All The World Now," Howie had, frankly, let the success of "Collide" go to his head. He had fully soaked up all of the celebrity entitlement symptoms. For long time fans like myself, it became annoying. He was, supposedly, popping pills and absolutely hitting the bottle--I'd seen a couple of shows where he was just boozing like crazy, it was sad and disgusting.
There were a lot of high profile issues he brought onto himself, and I was hoping that the 6 year delay to release "Sound the Alarm" was due to his desire and not due to him just not getting around to it. Hearing some of his new stuff live, I was impressed. Hearing the previews on iTunes and Amazon, I was worried. With the finished product, it sounds a lot less produced than I'd feared, and Howie has hit the bullseye.
To be honest, there are two tracks that I don't quite like. "Be There" is much better live than the pop sounding finished product from the studio, and "Undressed" hits me as being a filler, way out of place. I always thought Howie and Graham Colton could do something cool together, but I'm disappointed with the result. Even "Postcard From Mars," which was at first listen way too bizarre for me, is far and away more preferred to those tracks.
Howie has never been the type of artist I like being surrounded by Avril Lavigne and Fall Out Boy on a pop radio station--with "Collide" that's what it was. Six years later he couldn't be further away from the pop friendly sound, and more like his authentic self. Aside from the two tracks mentioned, the rest of them are gems in their own right. "So Stung" is a hauntingly unique sound to open up the album and hook you in. "Longest Night" is another stand-out track, with the best hook of the entire set... you'll surely be singing along. The title track is piano based on the album, but he generally plays his trusted Takamine live, and they both sound fantastic. There are also two finger picked songs on the album, something Howie isn't necessarily known for. "40 Hours" grows on me with each listen, just a lovely song, very well crafted, and then the absolute standout track of not just the album, but of his entire life's work, is "No Longer What You Require." He has never come this close to a perfect song, and that says a lot given songs like "Ghost" or "Madrigals."
The album on the whole is very relateable. He's obviously written about a lot of heavy issues, from his real life experiences. On the surface, he's learned from his mistakes and his music has matured because of what he has lived. Thankfully, it seems like Howie has got his feet firmly placed back on the ground (you like that, playing on "Everyone Loves to Love a Lie"), his head square on his shoulders, and it's damn good to have Howie Day back. This album was exactly what I required."
A Unique Sound
A. Kulcsar | Ypsilanti, MI United States | 09/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Six years after his amazing "Stop All the World Now" album comes Howie's third album under the Epic label, and it is as unique as the others. There are some stark differences with this album, setting it apart from the others and showing an extended breadth and depth in Howie's talent.
One of the biggest differences with this album is Howie's voice. Six years is a long time, and you can hear those extra years behind Howie's voice on this album. His voice remains beautiful, demonstrating his notorious range, but his voice is much richer with greater depth. It is a stunning difference, and it sounds fantastic.
Another startling difference with this album, particularly when compared to SATWN, is its sound as a whole. SATWN had a really big sound to it - big, gorgeous orchestrations accompanied most songs to make it feel like it was larger than life. "Sound the Alarm," in contrast, has much simpler accompaniment to most songs. The songs still sound polished, but they're toned down to let Howie's voice drive the songs. "No Longer What You Require" has, for most of the song, just Howie and a simple rhythm on a six-string. It is stunningly beautiful in its simplicity.
I have listened to this album, front to back, twice tonight. The album did not "grab" me right away like SATWN did. The intro to the first song, "So Stung," intrigued me for sure, but it did not grab me. It was not until track 5, "Be There," that I finally latched onto the album. Not to say that the first four tracks aren't good - they are - but, perhaps because of my biased expectations for another big-sounding album, it took me some time to get into it. On the second listening, the songs are hitting their stride with me, and they are starting to resonate with me the way that they probably should have the first time 'round.
This is a good, solid album. All of the tracks are really good, with "Weightless," "Be There," "Everyone Loves to Love a Lie," and the aforementioned "No Longer What You Require" being the standouts for me. This album easily can go into the rotation without me tiring of it. The songs are fresh - different from what has come before for Howie - and I always enjoy being surprised with each album.
To use Howie's own words, "Sound the Alarm" definitely represents the "end of one era and the start of another." I always enjoy witnessing Howie flex his musical muscle and delivering something that is different from his past work. If he continues to grow even more as an artist with subsequent albums...the sky is the limit.
Yes, Howie...for the past several hours, you HAVE been the only one that I could hear. Thanks for that. Glad you're back, brother. We've all missed you."