Background/Info: Daniel Hall celebrates his tenth full length album with a real special production. “The Collection” is partly a look back featuring songs from the previous albums “Romantic Tendencies”, “Hope”, “Together Again” and “Maelstrom” plus 8 new songs and a cover version of Depeche Mode.
Content: This ‘compilation’ album is a perfect opportunity to get more familiar with the electro-pop universe of Daniel Hall. The Australian artist is clearly inspired by Depeche Mode and his cover version of “I Feel Loved” only confirms the main source of inspiration. But Daniel Hall also has his own sound approach characterized by a real professional and high tech production. The songs on this album are moving from pure reverie to songs carried by a sensual triphop rhythm to more ‘dance’- passages to groovy cuts.
The work features 26 (!) songs, which have been diversified by the addition of a few female guest vocals and even a guitarist on one of the tracks.
+ + + : The sound production of this musician remains impressive. Daniel Hall clearly doesn’t spare any (financial/technical) effort to get a high tech sound. But he also is a talented musician who perfectly knows how to compose the perfect synth-pop songs. This album also reveals the diversity of his writing skills. I’ve a preference for the more ‘danceable’ and even ‘groovy’ cuts (cf. “One Man”, “Be With You”), but also for a more sensual approach created by the slow triphop rhythmic (cf. “Mysterious Girl”). This sensual flavor also emerges at “Catch You”, which reminds me a bit to Everything And The Girl. Last, but not least the duo together with Janne Villaflor on “Peace” (taken from the “Hope” album and also released as single) is a brilliant synth-pop cut. But the ultimate artistic element of this work is the format; this is not just a simply USB key, but a styled one available as an “X”, which stands for the tenth album of Daniel Hall, while the box wherein the USB key is packed reminds me of a jewel box.
– – – : 26 songs are quite a lot and it’s rather normal there’re several tracks featured which can’t totally convince me. These songs are often standing for the ‘softer’ side of the artist’s sound.
Conclusion: If you’re into synth-pop, Daniel Hall will for sure satisfy your needs. This ‘special’ album and especially the format are once again revealing the skills of the artist.
Best songs: “Peace”, “Mysterious Girl”, “One Man”, “Rescue Me”, “Lost Forever”, “Spider”, “Bulletproof Heart”, “Gravy train”.