Daniel Merriweather - Love & War
Wed 15th Jul, 2009 Music Reviewsin
Although a few knew him from his earlier work with Mark Ronson on Here Comes the Fuzz and with Aussie hiphoper Phrase, Daniel Merriweather came to nearly everyone’s attention through the cover of the Smiths’ Stop Me on Ronson’s Version. Like that track, his debut album Love & War, resonates with a cheeky old school soulfulness, and hopefully won’t get him as many death threats.
Using old microphones and vintage equipment, Merriweather captures the grand old feel of soul, weaving intricate stories of love and loss that belie his young age over mostly melancholy horns and beats. Cigarettes is a prime example – singing about smoking and fighting and gambling and losing a girl, much more suited to the live of someone who is 46, not 26. The first single Change features a great collaboration with Wale, whilst Impossible is remarkably catchy and familiar. My favourite is the more upbeat Chainsaw with funky Hammond organ sound.
The album is produced by Mark Ronson, which shows throughout the record with Ronson’s trademarked beats and arrangements, perhaps a little to its detriment. Although I’ve really enjoyed Ronson’s past albums, at times I felt I was listening to a Mark Ronson album, and not a Daniel Merriweather one. We’ve heard Version, so it would have been good to hear him do something different with this amazing talent. That aside, Love & War is still a great album, and if you’re a fan of soul from the likes of John Legend, Amy Winehouse and indeed Mark Ronson, then you’ll enjoy Love & War.