In every country where he climbed into the Top Ten — whether it was his native Canada, the U.K., various territories in Europe, or the U.S., where he was helped enormously by being featured on American Idol — Daniel Powter had his breakthrough hit with "Bad Day," a loping, sunny tune that pretty much has the opposite sentiment of its title. It's a good signature song, encapsulating everything charming and slightly irritating about the singer/songwriter: it's effortlessly, even incandescently, melodic, immediately working its way into the subconscious, where it will never leave (at least not for a good week or so), and it's given an artful contemporary production, which is classic enough to place Powter and his hooks in the forefront, yet it's dressed with just enough modern touches in its rolling rhythms, keyboards, and guitars so it doesn't sound retro. That song is the template for the rest of his debut, Daniel Powter, and while there's nothing quite as grabbing as that tune, there's nothing alienating, either, which is not only to Powter's credit, but to that of his producer, Mitchell Froom. Best known for his fussy, elaborately arty productions for such '90s adult alternative mainstays as Crowded House, los Lobos, Richard Thompson, and Suzanne Vega, Froom retains his mastery of the studio but abandons his affectations here, turning Daniel Powter into an AAA record that simply sounds appealing. And that word pretty much describes Powter himself, particularly when he's doing melodic midtempo pop like "Bad Day," which is just often enough to make this record quite likeable. Not that he always has perfect pitch here — when it comes to ballads, he has a bit of a tin ear, turning toward the sappy, and he has an unfortunate tendency to slide into Jamiriquoi-styled lite funk (very lite funk), plus his words tend to fall apart into a series of trite clichés if they're inspected too closely. Nevertheless, as a record — as a series of expertly produced, expertly recorded adult pop tunes — Daniel Powter is a debut that's easy to enjoy, thanks to Powter's melodic skills and sweet voice, both reminiscent of a less idiosyncratic, streamlined Elton John.