Day One

Ordinary Man

by Benn Joseph

 

Day One is a group that I’ve never heard of, but I feel like I should. It’s also a group that I feel like I should like, but I don’t.

When reading the biographical information for this duo, it sounds very interesting. Day One is Phelim Byrne and Donnie Hardwidge, both from Britain. Actually, Phelim is from Ireland, and his hip-hop influences are supposed to be very prevalent on this album. I’m not sure how I feel about Irish hip-hop, but supposedly also influenced a lot by his father’s love of Irish folk music, which is also supposed to play a part in Day One’s sound.

cover art

Day One

Ordinary Man

(Astralwerks)

Donnie, on the other hand, is much more interested in combining the sounds of Dylan, Tom Petty, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. This sounds admirable to me, but I didn’t really hear it on the album. You would think that combining this sound with Irish hip-hop would be a pretty impressive sound, and the fact that they were essentially discovered and produced by Massive Attack’s 3D led me initially to believe that they’d be a great band.

So right now you’re probably wondering “Well if it doesn’t sound like any of the things you listed, and you don’t like it, then what the hell does it sound like?” I’ll tell you: it sounds exactly like Beck. I mean, when I was listening to it, I got totally confused, and thought I was actually listening to Beck. The resemblance is uncanny; there’s the exact same lazy, lounging around lyrical style with the same tired-sounding instruments. Miles Davis and John Coltrane just don’t fit with this, and I really don’t see their connection to Massive Attack.

When I visited the Astralwerks website, I realized it was the home of Fatboy Slim. Argh! Well, if you want to listen to some of this stuff, you can check it out here; you can listen to “In Your Life,” or songs by any of the other artists on this label. You can also buy the CD. Or not.

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