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Hero
Artist: Daily Planet
Label: Reunion Records
11 tracks / 45:38

New Reunion band Daily Planet falls directly into the Dave Matthews/Matchbox 20 brand of straightforward, occasionally meandering modern rock on their debut, Hero. That’s not a bad thing if it’s done well, which it is.

The album’s best moments are the upbeat ones. Lead singles "Flying Blind" and "Tangled Web" rock with a Matchbox-esque flair, while "More To Life" and "Five" bring in the funky Dave Matthews sound, except with strings replacing Matthews’ signature horns. "Six String Rocketeer" is the best song on the disc. Boasting an instantly memorable chorus and deft guitar work, it speaks of lead singer Jesse Butterworth’s parents’ divorce and how he found solace in music. Working in clever name checks to the Beatles, Sting, and Billy Joel, among others, the song features some of the best lyrics and musical hooks to be found here.

The relative low points come on the ballads. While string-laden cuts like "3000 Miles Away" and "Questioning the Notion" are decent songs in their own right, they don’t fit in with the overall rock vibe of the album.

The only other flaw with this album is that the band tends to keep things too safe. While the lyrics are well-written, they don’t break any new thematic ground, preferring to stay in an evangelical, youth-pastor-friendly tone. While Hero is an excellent album taken as it is, it would be nice to see Daily Planet stretch and take a few more risks next time around. These guys are as talented as they come, and it seems their talents are a bit wasted with the tame direction of the album.

John Wilson 7/28/02

Daily Planet will satisfy fans of The Waiting, Dave Matthews Band, Matchbox 20, and Kevin Max.  “Flying Blind”, about total trust in God, and “More to Life” most resemble DMB, with the latter adding a Blues Traveler dimension to Jesse Butterworth’s vocals.

“Lost and Found” centers on appreciating God through his Creation, and being renewed through that process:

   I see the paradox
   With wheat, the tares included
  You can’t pull out the tares
  The wheat will be uprooted
  And it renews my mind…
“Questioning the Notion” deals with the concept of how a loving God can let horrible things happen in the world.  It discusses the need to trust that He knows what He is doing even when we cannot understand it.  “Six String Rocketeer” is about the comfort found in music when things around us are not going well.  (The irony is that this song has no guitar solo.) 

“Five” reminds me of the Beki Hemingway song “Ft. Bragg” ­ it deals with childhood innocence, and the sheer joy of being free, and having no responsibilities, other than being a kid.  Seth Davis shows his age here, citing Luke Skywalker, Underoos, and Spiderman as some of his favorite memories.  “3000 Miles Away” bemoans the separation of two people in love and claims that nothing is as much fun when they’re apart.

“Hero”, the title track, is about finding out that our idols have feet of clay:

I bought the CD, downloaded the mp3
I even bought the import from the Japanese
I read the bio to see what you’re all about
Let’s put it this way folks, this guy is no boy scout…
Hero, in a nutshell, makes me want to hear more from Daily Planet.  It has enough edge for the rock fan in me, intelligent lyrics, and singers that can actually sing, as opposed to most of the younger bands currently on the radio.

Brian A. Smith 8/25/2002

Reunion Records has done it once again by successfully signing another winning band, the new rock group Daily Planet, which consists of four guys from southern California: Jesse Butterworth, Seth Davis, Danny Lund, and Bobby Reinsch. 

As soon as you pop Hero into your CD Player and press Play you will never want to hit the Stop button until the album is completely finished (unless you strongly dislike Rock music of course). And even though it would have been nice to have a consistent rock album all of the way through, the ballads that come in later on are unquestionably done well, so it’s not a total loss. 

Without a doubt, this is one of 2002’s best releases. Not only does it have awe-inspiring rock tracks such as “Flying Blind,” “Tangled Web,” and “Five” or ballads like “Questioning the Notion,” “3000 Miles Away,” and “I Live,” it also has thought-provoking lyrics, great music, and a singer that can actually sing. What more can you ask for in a rock group?

Daily Planet has been on store shelves since August 20th, go and pick it up now without hesitation!

Josh McConnell  09/9/02


 
 
 

 

   
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