Thatâs How I See It is an infectious album chocked full of joy and happiness, it gets in your bones. Thatâs how I want to see it too!
Before appearing on The Undateables in 2014 Daniel Wakeford was a musician. His self-titled debut album was released on Constant Flux in 2012. It showcased Wakefordâs unique talent as a lyricist and drew comparisons to The Fall and The Television Personalities. In 2016 Wakeford released a follow-up Song of the Gigs. Six of the songs were culled from his original release, but these re-recorded versions beefed up the backing tracks, giving the songs more bite. Now Wakeford has returned with a new band and album Thatâs How I See it.
The opening track âItâs a Wonderful Cityâ is an ode to his home of Brighton. Through evocative lyrics, he paints a picture of a city that is happy, friendly and welcomes anyone that visits there with open arms. Musically there is a joyous bounce going on that matches Wakefordâs unrelenting enthusiasm and positivity. The highlight is the chorus and middle eight when everything just letâs rip
On âPub Nights to the British Holidayâ Wakeford starts to tap into what is it to be British, it's a fast-paced number about going down the pub and indulging in some Carlsbergâs and âPeaceful having funâ. âThere Was a Flying Birdsâ is the weakest track on the album. It never really gets going or knows what itâs about. Which is a shame? Up until this point,Â Thatâs How I See It has been a load of fun.
âI Used to Watch the News is ITNâ and âA Song for Youâ dust themselves down, and the album picks up again, the latter being a tender love song about hanging out in parks/gardens. Its Wakefordâs ability to make the banal sound interesting that keeps the album moving forward. The stand out track on âThatâs How I See itâ is âToni Arthur Greatestâ. This is a song about a kids TV presenter from the 1970s and 1980s. There is a level of delight in Wakefordâs vocals about remembering a favourite of his childhood, that is hard to ignore.
The main complaint with Thatâs How I See It is that at times the lyrics are rough around the edges, and there is a feeling of outsider art to it, but through sheer charm, and determination alone, Wakeford manages to pull it off. There are flourishes of Mark E. Smith/Dan Treacy to some of the lyrics, in that you get the impression that Wakeford is just saying the first thing that came into his head in the studio, but after a few listens you realise there is a method to it.
Musically Thatâs How I See It is harder hitting with a slightly crunchy pub-rock feel to it, compared to the normcore of The Songs of Gigs. Having this extra gear really adds to the songs as when needed they can elevate a chorus to an anthemic sing-a-long, rather than making it catchy.
Thatâs How I See It is an album chocked full of joy and happiness. This might sound weird, but when Wakeford sings and croons throughout the album you get a feeling of how happy being alive makes him. This joy is infectious. It gets in your bones and starts to make you smile. Thatâs how I want to see it too!