After hearing Daley’s 1st 2012 effort ‘Those Who Wait’ it was clear that there was new pretender to the throne of UK Soul. Following in the regal footsteps of British R&B luminaries such as Lewis Taylor and Lynden David Hall, Daley delivered a slick, understated LP. Despite appearing with Jessie J on 2013’s ‘Remember Me’, Daley largely slipped under the radar in the UK and turned his attentions to the US where so many of his British contemporaries and inspirations have flourished. A glossy record contract with Republic (Drake, Taylor Swift) was signed and the tepidly received ‘Days and Nights’ was released in 2014
On his third long player, ‘The Spectrum’, Daley demonstrates he is an artist who now fully understands exactly the sound he wants to create and the artist he wants to be. A richer, fuller production complements and supports his vocal capability and falsetto riffs with a comfortable ease.
The string arrangements on album opener ‘Until the Pain is Gone’ and ‘The Only One’ hark of Eric Benet at his best. ‘Second to None’ could have been lifted from a 1990’s Brian Mcknight effort whilst ‘The Fabric’ is a moving serenade dedicated to a close friend of the singer who passed recently – “Woven your magic, through your absence you will guide, still no less tragic, we have to say goodbye”.
‘Slow Burn’ and ‘On Fire’ are two of the albums funkier tracks, great hooks and a rolling rhythm guitar provide an infectious head bopping opportunity. The album closer, ‘Careless’, is a UK Garage tinged banger, a shout out to the London clubs where Daley learnt his craft.
“The Spectrum” is a rich, fat, chunk of classic R&B and soul. Whilst not offering anything profound, it delivers its objectives clearly. Daleys influences – Marsha Ambrosius, Maxwell, Jill Scott, are clear and prevalent throughout, whilst not for a bar does the listener forget who the artist at the mic is.
The throne is vacant and ‘The Spectrum’ confirms that Daley is the most rightful heir. All arise for the new leader of UK R&B.