Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Howie Day - Everyone Loves to Love a Lie

At this point I'm not really sure whether I should be "excited" for another Howie Day record or if I should just run and hide from it right now. Before I get much further I should point out some facts here:

  • About 5 years ago Howie Day would have been one of my top 5 favorite artists if you asked me, no hesitation.
  • I still count Australia, Howie's first release, as one of my favorite albums.
  • Howie put on one of the best shows I've ever seen in only 15 minutes time. Yes, he is was that good.
I was a bit disappointed with Howie's second record, Stop All The World Now. It sounded a little overdone and a bit to "ready" to be whored around on top 40 radio. Looking back at my premature evaluation, I can't say I'm pleased with being right in this case.

Despite the ho-hum second outing, I still gave Howie the benefit of the doubt. His live performances were absolutely breath-taking. His vocal presence was captivating and the use of his looping pedals brought the live show to a completely different level than any solo performer I've ever seen besides Joseph Arthur.

Of course, the rest is pretty much history at this point:
  • Collide is released and gets featured in a number of TV shows making Howie Day a one-hit wonder. Teenage girls swoon.
  • Howie starts touring with a band rather than solo. Teenage girls swoon.
  • Two female fans accuse Howie Day of sexually assaulting them in his trailer where he breaks their cell phone when they refuse his advances.
  • Howie gets drunk on an airplane and harrases a flight attendant and others on the plane.
  • Howie is sentenced to rehab, where he meets Britney Spears and starts a relationship.
After this things get a little murky. I remember reading something about Howie and Britney going on binges together, which I'm sure was partially responsible for her losing custody of her children. The good news is, Howie is out of rehab and no longer with Britney. The bad news is, the new music sounds like he's trying a bit too hard to reach for another big hit.

Howie is on tour now with Jay Clifford. Jay helped co-write a number of songs from Stop All the World Now so I can't say I'm thrilled about more collaberation between the two, but it's no full band so it may be worth checking out. Rumor has it that Howie is back to using his pedals. If that's the case, I may be ready to give him a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

With no further ado, here's the newest Howie Day song. It's called Everyone Loves to Love a Lie and no, it's not about Britney Spears. Sorry for the low bitrate, it came to me via Myspace so it's nothing I could really control.

No real details on his next full release. I'm still not sure how excited I should be about the new track - it's fair, though a bit overdone at times. It could easily co-exist with the rest of the tracks from Stop All the World Now. I much prefer his live shows or Australia. I've included a few of my favorite tracks for those of you not familiar with Howie outside of Collide.

This was recorded 4/28/02. It should give a good idea of how fantastic Howie can be live.  The use of the delay and looping pedals to go along with his vocal strength was always what made Howie so special.  This song is basically Howie at his best.

[mp3] Secret

This may be my favorite track from Australia. It's a nice little pop song with a bit of an edge to it. Australia is full of these little gems, I highly recommend picking it up if you haven't already.

Not surprisingly, the only song I'm really attached to from Howie's second album was a track that didn't even make the cut. This was later included as a b-side, then on a deluxe addition. It doesn't feel as overdone as the rest of the album and I love the keys in this one.

Buy some Howie Day:  Amazon | iTunes
Visit Howie on the web:  Official | Myspace

Howie Day allows the taping and distribution of his live shows.  If you're interested in hearing more live music from Howie Day then I recommend visiting The Live Music Archive.  It also contains a LOT of other bands who allow taping & distribution.


L. Boogie said...

I'm in 100% agreement about Howie. I've been disappointed with too many of my singer-songwriters lately. Howie Day with "Stop..." and his recent shenanigans (Britney included), Jason Mraz with over-produced sounds and especially with "Mr. A-Z" (I still wonder... what the hell was that?). There's more but I'll stop before I vex myself into insanity.

Going to their recent shows, I noticed something that really hurt. Jason's show in 2005 was filled with teenage, even pre-pubescent girls donning pink halters, with "A-Z" in iron-on lettering, melting into the floor where I’d ash my bitter cigarette. I swear, I thought I'd puke. It was a cacophony of over-produced performances and pig-tail adorned babes wearing plastic smiles and any available Jason Mraz merchandise.

I've been wishing and hoping they would go back to the basics and bring back their old-school sound. What I loved about Howie were the experimental/jazzy/psychedelic & completely raw sounds that he created. His spontaneity was unique. It's so easy to be unoriginal these days. The cynic in me thinks I'm going to continue to keep on hoping; the dreamer in me hopes that I won't have to for much longer.

A Kay said...

I agree with the reservations about Howie. Although he was nice when I did a show with him three years ago, this single is WAY disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you don't know the real howie. believing the E! channel crap is part of the lie... and everyone loves to love a lie.

Gray said...

i like his voice and also he is cute...

your passage is fabulous !

best wishes from China:D


Anonymous said...

i have known howie since high school, and although i have seen him be a huge ass on a number of occasions, i also realize that there are a lot of external circumstances that have played a role in shaping his life (and music) in the past few years. i don't want to go into any great detail here, nor do i want to give him any excuse for the way he sometimes acts, but i felt like posting because i'm sick of people bashing him without really knowing the background story.

a lot of his recent random and manic behavior was brought on by the death of his younger brother. he died of a drug over-dose, which pretty much made howie head down the same road for a while (hopefully re-hab has fixed that problem). for a long time though, howie just got drunk and fucked up in an effort to get over his loss and stopped caring about anything. obviously, it wasn't a great choice on his part, but try to tell that to someone who has just lost his or her younger brother. so yeah, he might have done some dick head shit, but i can think of a lot of people, myself included, who do dick-head shit when they're drunk or on drugs.

second, for those of you disappointed in his second album, you have to understand a few things. first, he didn't really want to form a band, epic sort of forced it upon him in an effort to give him more mass appeal. and secondly, a lot of great songs he wrote during that time never made it on the album because epic cut them. and obviously he could have fought them over it and tried to get the album he truly wanted, but he was pretty young and epic would have told him to f off.

well anyway, that's all i feel like saying. not really even sure why i said it, but i hope it clears up a little bit of the fog surrounding howie's personality and career.

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