This is a fantastic album I had to buy it from Amazon.de but I am actually English and live in England. It really is the best album I have listened to in years. The quality of the music and production of the album is beyond belief. Declan has always been recognised for his passion and emotion and this is shown once again. His voice is genuinely beautiful and is so unique, yes his voice has "broken" since his last album "Thank You" but he still has a very big and USABLE range. This is shown more than ever on this present album, as the low part of his range was nevr really promoted in the past, however now you have songs such as "The Living Years" where Declan on the one hand is doing the verses in a very smooth, soft and low voice but then however,singing the latter part of the song with some very, high passionate ad-libs.
There are many originals on the Album and they were obviously chosen very carefully as they are all brilliant songs and are all hits in their own right. Declan even has one of his own self-written pieces on the cd called "Moody Blues." It is solely written by Declan and it is quite amazing how someone of 15 could write such a great song. I really believe it could be a hit. It has very interesting, deep lyrics and a wonderful melody. The chorus being very catchy and the verses being very intimate and personal. Declan alledgedly worked with the producers on this song and they managed to make a quite breathtaking "Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd" style production for it. I believe Declans voice is better than ever before as it is so Passionate, Unique and well controlled, but yet has a much more mature and interesting sound than ever before. I have seen Declan peform Live quite recently in a concert and it is quite amazing how skillful he is and how well he knows his voice. He also performs very well, he interacted with the audience and showed a personality, intelligence and humour in his speech. Making a few jokes about certain situations that arose on stage , for example, running out of water and taking his guitar capo on/off, was something I certainly didnt expect from him but was something Declan handled so well and confidently. Showing that he really is a true professional and is very experienced at what he does. He played the whole concert solely with his guitar and nothing else. To a very intimate and captivated audience of 700.
I would recomend this Album to any one of any age as it is pure quality and I think that appeals to everyone. As for people that have said in reviews from the past that Declans voice is nasally. All I have to say is I would like you to listen to anyone that is in the charts today and tell me they dont have any nasal in their vocal performance. Declan was never a choir boy and has always been a very strong, emotional singer, even from the age of 9. To think that some people could give him a 1 star is truly un-believable and I was lost for words when I read this. With regards to criticism over performing covers, what is the problem if Declan covers some great songs and makes them his own? Plenty of Artists have done it, a good example is Rod Stewart ( who by the way sings nasally at times) but is considered a great vocalist . If Declan gives them his stamp and brings a wonderful performance to them, what is the problem? But what is important is that Declan is heading in the right direction with brand new songs on this album. And Declans first written song shows tremendous ability and talent. And I believe the song deserves to be on the Album.
I look forward to much more from Declan as I think he has so much to give and I think he has a wonderful, bright future and career ahead of him.
Thanks for reading. And seriously, take my advice. I am not pleased easily but Declan has blown me away since the beginning and just keeps getting better. Buy this album NOW!!! You wont regret it.