Angel Air 2015
In and out of glitter, underrated English singer uncovers his ’80s cache.
John Willans always wanted to stand out from the music-minded composers with a similar name, but turning into Danielz did more than that as it created a whole new persona for the singer. The reinvention didn’t help him get a recording contract yet he didn’t stop trying to get there – before and after fronting glam metal group TARAZARA whose 1985’s recordings saw the light of day 25 years later – until settling down as a frontman of T.REXTASY. The tapes on “Some Romantic Night” reveal a different kind of vocalist, and songwriter, though, and, despite dating from 1983 and 1987-88, gel into an album devoid of its era’s sound notions.
So while Marc Bolan’s influence seeps through the sax-smoothed scintillating boogie of “Crying In Your Sleep” and the “Gunshots At Midnight” crunch, with “Baby Factory (I Wanna Be)” paying an overt homage to Danielz’s hero, the acoustic demo cover of Dylan’s “Stuck Inside Of Mobile” shifts the entertainment focus completely. And if “Where Were You” wraps its spirituality into romantic balladry, “Master Plan” proposes a tasty cut of guitar sharpness, unlike “Personal Touch” which is blessed with a lighter rock lick and an infectious chorus. Even brighter, “Don’t Need A Reason” comes in as a sweet slice of groovy pop with a disco inflection, but there’s depth to “Woman In The Gallery” that, its silver funk lining aside, harks back to classic ’60s soul where harmony was king.
All this goes to show that a new original album from Danielz is long overdue. Time to notch that elusive hit.