Comprising 12 tracks of straight pop with great depth and tone, Australian vocalist Daniel Koek has released a new album titled ‘High’ (available on iTunes now).
Dominated by Koek’s spectacular vocals, the album is a great showcase for a performer who recently ended his run in the West End and Les Miserables’ Jean Valjean. It’s no surprise that he has a great voice then, but the album has much more than that to offer.
With a serious tone to match the serious talent, the songs unfold gradually, many of them building to huge final choruses having started quietly. This formula, far from being predictable, allows that stellar vocal to develop track after track. The backing, ranging from simple acoustic moments to full horn, strings and orchestral sections, is brilliantly recorded, each tiny nuance adding an impressive whole.
The song selection is good too. Presumably chosen and arranged to compliment Koek’s voice, the collection of pre-existing pop hits, musical numbers and classical pieces suit him perfectly. In particular, the evenly paced ‘You’re the Only Place’ gives a lot of room for an operatic-pop vocal, while ‘Always and Forever’ is a fittingly heartfelt closer to a very good listen. Top track honours however probably go to the new, double layered arrangement of classic Les Mis song ‘Bring Him Home’, featuring the vocal not only of Koek but guest Jonathan Ansell.
Pop music aficionados rejoice.