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David Celia - I Tried

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 14 / 8 / 2010

David Celia - I Tried
Label: XXI
Format: CD


Unpretentious and melodic third album from Toronto-based singer-songwriter David Celia, who includes the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon amongst his fans

Rarely are the decisions about what music I choose to listen to especially complex, but I doubt that they have ever been less complex than this. David Celia’s new album ‘I Tried’ came with a quote of recommendation from the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, “excellent musicianship… elegant and melodic”. With Hannon being my favourite modern songwriter, I needed no more information and that is the reason I am reviewing this particular album. It didn’t take me long to hear what had impressed Hannon so much, with his "elegant and melodic" description ideal to describe this album’s third song ’Wishful Thinking’. As a simple piano intro leads into a tuneful opening verse, and gradually a wurlizer and horn section join in to, it is all very pleasant. But then, about halfway through, Celia lets the tune soar in McCartney-esque fashion and the horn arrangement lets rip and this simple little ditty, which doesn’t seem to be about much more than stopping work and heading for the country, becomes an absolute delight. Celia is obviously a Beatles fan, but it is the best of McCartney’s solo work that sets the template here. The songs are generally simple and direct, with the emphasis on memorable tunes and the urge to try something new. After ’Wishful Thinking’, the aforementioned potential classic, we get the title track, ’I Tried’, a country-ish ramble and then ‘Sergio’, another shamelessly catchy piano based pop song with silly lyrics (“he has a moustache in a Zappa kind of way”). With his cheerful outlook and daft sense of humour, I expect that Celia has realised he’s unlikely to get the kind of critical acclaim only generally afforded to the terminally grumpy. Hence ‘I’m Not Texan’, another country song where he sings, ‘Well, my name is Dave and I’m from Mississauga, My parents are Croatian and I drive a Honda, I’m the furthest thing from being the real deal… but I know what I am and I sure ain’t Texan’. But, while he may not be an authentic country-bluesman, he is a natural pop craftsman whose unpretentiousness is his real asset. This is a lovely album.

Track Listing:-
1 Turnout
2 Séverine
3 Wishful Thinking
4 I Tried
5 Sergio
6 I'm Not Texan
7 Instant Puppy Love
8 Crush
9 Bug's Apocalypse
10 Running out of Time
11 Life Is a Dream
12 Marcus
13 Séverine (feat. Sacha Toorop) (feat. Sacha Toorop)

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Interview (2012)
David Celia - Interview
Ben Howarth speaks to Canadian singer-songwriter and roots rocker David Celia at a show in London about his latest album, 'I Tried', and continuous touring

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Double Mind (2015)
On his fourth album, Canadian singer-guitarist David Celia finds a way to bridge the gap between his studio songcraft and his often improvised live shows

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