UPDATE: See New Post here.
So, after waiting far too long, I received the package from the internet store in London with my autographed copy of So Close, the first release from Daniel Boys. I first learned of Daniel from duets with John Barrowman. Later I discovered he was on the British program Any Dream Will Do, a reality program to cast the London revival of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In fact, Barrowman was a judge on the show, which is how he 'discovered' Daniel. It just recently ran on BBCAmerica [the home of my favorite show - Torchwood], and I watched up to the point Daniel was eliminated by a snitty Andrew Lloyd Webber [if I needed any more reasons to dislike ALW, there would be more than enough in the weeks I watched this show]. Frankly, Daniel was my favorite and thought he left too early, but can't say I missed watching the show. He is currently on the West End, playing Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q at the Gielgud Theater, for which he won Theatergoers Award for Best Takeover Role.
So, that is my 'history' with Daniel, in a nutshell. For me, he is handsome, talented, seemingly nice, and openly gay, all things that work for me. When I learned he was releasing a CD, I went online and ordered it. I figure chances are slim I will see him performing live, so might as well spend a little extra to import So Close and buy the autographed copy! I like it very much. Daniel has an excellent voice, with a nice mix of a strong tenor with a sweet vibrato. The songs are a mix of pop tunes infused with a bit of the theatrical. The title song is quite nice, with a sweetness and honesty I appreciate. One Day More is an uptempo pop tune that is both catchy and surprisingly wordy. Better Than I is a rangy pop song, and Daniel's falsetto is more than up for the task [it's kinda amazing, really].
They Don't Make Glass Slippers is flirting with being overly melodramatic, but when all is said and done, he pulls it off. There is a sweetness in his tone that makes it work for me. His cover of the country song I Hope You Dance is quite nice. Again, the purity of the vocals and the delivery works so very well. Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel) is just gorgeous. By Billy Joel, it is one of his better songs, and Daniel does a fantastic job with it. Un Da Llegara is a beautiful song, sung beautifully. Can't say much more - except it is one of my favorites on the CD. Always There, a song from the show Secret Garden, is certainly good, although not stellar. It builds rather nicely, although the background chorus seems a tad out of place.
Everything, the Micheal Buble song, is a bit on the irritating side, but I will say I like Daniel's version far more than the original. But I do find Buble annoying, so perhaps I am not the best judge. Daniel brings it more uptempo, both in speed and temporament. Daniel was not nearly as successful with John Denver's endlessly overplayed Annie's Song, because, if we were being honest, does anyone really need to sing that ever again? I mean, come on. I surely hope there is a reason it was even considered, let alone recorded.
The CD opens and closes with shortened versions of Nature Boy, a song written in the 1940s, which recieves interesting albeit odd treatment. It opens with the hiss of an old turntable/record with a few scratchy/ticky moments, a sound only revisited by the reprise at the end. Not exactly sure about the nature of this particular statement, but have opted to let that big question go.
On the whole, I enjoyed the CD and it is already on the iPod. I am listening as I type this up. I like Daniel's voice, neither too rich nor too thin in quality, but with a strong range. At times he might slip into over-enunciation, often found in theater performers. While I don't see myself jumping on a plane and flying to the UK to catch him in concert, I am certainly a fan and can't wait to see what will happen next for him, be it another tour with John Barrowman [and YouTube videos!], another West End show, and just maybe another CD. You can find out more about Daniel at his website.