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neil daly

- released in 2004

**** "At the Same Time Challenging & Engaging" July, 2004
Reviewer: Frank Logan - Boulder, CO
Neil Daly is an artist both ironic and contradictory. Whether or not he himself recognizes this fact is beside the point. A great many artists are not aware of how much of themselves they reveal in their work. "In Search of Tomorrow", Daly's latest offering, finds him struggling with the dualities of the human
condition, and more specifically the dualities of his own persona. Even its sound and production seem to work in opposition. From the angry betrayal of "How Dare You" to the dreamy yearning of "The Seagull", Daly repeatedly buries himself behind subliminal basslines and giant fuzzy guitar riffs. But in hiding behind a wall of sound he perhaps inadvertently reveals more than he intends. He is playing hide and seek in the shadows, forcing us to explore his music rather than simply just listen. Not to say that he doesn't have his moments of clarity. For all its psychological complexity, "In Search of Tomorrow" is at its heart a pop album chock full of brilliantly simplistic hooks and sweet sentimentality.

Songs like the anthemic "Only Love"and the delicately melodious title track present Daly at is most open and direct. Thematically these songs are more abstract than some of the other more personal songs, and therefore perhaps Daly finds it easier to express himself in them. But behind the poignancy runs a deep, dark mean streak. There is a child-like innocence and sense of wonder to much of Daly's music, but also a raw simmering anger. Songs like "How Dare You", and "Blinded by the Lies" are not only riff-heavy rockers, but also seething open letters of bitter accusation. But instead of a jarringly disparate album of tangled emotions and confusion Daly manages quite deftly to blend these opposing sentiments into a complex, yet cohesive structure. Sometimes angry, sometimes wistful, but always passionate. Sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce, but always honest. "In Search of Tomorrow" is a desperate, raging, hopeful, mournful manifesto. It does more than deliver a solid collection of guitar-driven pop music, it reveals the depth and soul of a man.

***** "Back with a Vengeance" June, 2004
Reviewer: Allison Andrews - San Diego, CA
I write for an alternative music scene independent publication and we cover local Los Angeles area bands that are not yet signed to major label record companies. And although I've covered Neil Daly's previous releases, there's good chance this will be the last one I get to do. "In Search of Tomorrow" will get Neil signed! It's as simple as that. The intersting thing about his latest, and by far his greatest offering is that one begs the question is mainstream popularity and success even something he aspires to? His pop sensibilities are undeniable, as this album is litered with hook-driven rock melodies and catchy arrangements. But Neil has always been cautious with his lyrics. His poetry intentionally plays just over the heads of your average top 40 radio listener. And after hearing his previous works, it has become obvious that this is one of the most prolific and creative songwriters of the indie nation. In fact, this is one of those rare albums that, like a fine wine, only gets better with time. The deeper you analyze his illiteration and the imagery he creates, the more you see how vulernable and revealing he truly is...

Lyrics like "skin as thin as paper cups" demonstrate the artist who wears his heart on his sleeve can be cut like anyone else.

But the one recurring theme that grounds and binds the album together can be best summed up in the albums title track. Indeed, each and every song reveal the soul of a man in search of something better... the search for love, the search for forgiveness, the search for a place in world to call home, to feel safe.

"In Search of Tomorrow" is at its very core, the story of a man who has grown and changed and become a better person and the hope that tomorrow, or some distant future, the world will take notice. Get this album and seek out your own tomorrow!

- released in 2001

Reviewer: David Jecko (from
If every jaded dreamer closed their eyes and made a wish that all their heartache, their grief, their anger and resentment could be manifested into a single object, the result would probably look and sound a lot like ALL FALL DOWN, the latest and (so far) greatest album from Neil Daly.

For this album, the North Hollywood based solo artist synthesized the strengths of his two previous albums to create something rather rare in today's music industry: Pop/Rock with guts. Combining the roaring rock riffs of his debut FIGHT THE FUZZ BARS (which this journalist still maintains is a misprint of "Fudge Bars") and the polished production quality of 2000's SLEEPWALKERS, Daly cranks out well-crafted rockers with substantive flash that ought to send Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls back into the studio right quick.

The opening salvo of this musical onslaught is a trio of catchy pop songs, "The Colour of the Past," "Veil of Tears," and "One More Past," that should break in casual new listeners and those who have fallen victim to the corporate machine which produced Brittany Spears and damn-near ruined Dave Matthews' fan base. The fourth track, however, is a subtle preview of the album's melodic finale. But Daly wastes no time sequing back into his brutal blitz with a collection of gritty songs chock full of loud guitars and louder vocals. This musical barrage is the crux of the new album, signifying Daly's rage and frustration in an album with multi-layered, ever-present themes of revenge, regret, repent, remorse and a dozen other words that subtly scroll across the album's cover.

So there's the flash, but what about the substance? Well, just as he reformed his musical style from past successes, his song-writing is taken to another level on this album.

From a lyrical standpoint, ALL FALL DOWN is an epic poem of innocence lost. Daly has meticulously crafted a narrative voice that is both tortured and cut-throat. His lyrics run the gambit of sentimental ("let all your wildest dreams be now within your reach/may you achieve a peace that I could never give") to accusatory ("you had no right to steal the light/and disappear into the night/impossible as it may seem you're just like me") to pleading for forgiveness ("looking back on what went wrong/soul entrapment in this song/blew a chance to make amends..."). The album isn't meant to be broken into singles, but rather to be digested in one sitting; the songs flow from one to the next with a fluidity that is indicative of chapters in a book. Indeed, ALL FALL DOWN reads like a tripped-out fairy tale.

That is in part the result of a haunting "child-like" motif. With his blend of nursery rhymes in his lyrics and song titles like "Halloween Candy" and "Sticks and Stones," Daly's narrative voice comes off like the childish dreamer suppressed within his own subconscious, a child that is finally raging to the surface, demanding atonement for his past sins, and retribution for forgotten crimes done to him. All of it comes to a head in the album's penultimate track, "Karma (Sticks and Stones)" which mutates and morphs in its lyrical progression (from "you didn't teach me how to love and all I learned was how to lose" to "you can say what you want to, but I'll do as I please/and I'll break every rule even when I'm on my knees") as well as the heavily layered music variations. All the myriad themes of the album so far come crashing to a chaotic climax in this song, and all that remains is redemption.

It is the album's denouement, though, that fully realizes that redemption of ALL FALL DOWN. "Orlando" seems at first to not even fit on the album, but this quiet, simple ballad is all that is left in the wake of "Karma." And with it Daly closes on a note that is unique to all three of his albums: Hope.

Reviewer: Rex Marine - Valencia, CA

I picked up Neil Daly's "All Fall Down" about two or three weeks ago, listened to it continually for a few days, put it away for a week or so, and then pulled it out again just the other day and spent the weekend listening to it over and over again. This is my usual modus operandi for breaking in new music. Upon the initial listenings, I barely even pay attention to the music and just let is seep into my subconscious, then I let it sit undisturbed for a time, and then I listen to the music again, this time really listening, and see what happens. If the music sucks then it just sort of slides off of me, there is no real impact. However if its good, I find myself singing along to lyrics I didn't even know I knew, and stopping whatever it is I'm doing to wait for that really cool guitar part. It just sort of grabs me. And "All Fall Down" grabbed me.

I live in southern California and have actually been a fan of Daly's for the last couple of years after seeing him at a few small venues in the Hollywood area and picking up his first musical effort "Fight the Fuzzbars", which really rocks. And for the uninformed, Daly, like Prince or Frank Stallone, is an auteur in the truest sense of the word. He writes, arranges, performs and produces every note of music on his albums (don't believe me? just read the liner notes). Which means the majority of his performances are solo acoustic sets due to the fact that he lacks a band (but I have seen him perform with other bands, most notably Crazy Spoonhead, and Superfluous Nipple which both have big underground followings in the Los Angeles area). And after seeing him play a melodic and heartfelt acoustic set, buying "Fuzzbars" afterwards, listening to it and being utterly assaulted with this angry riff-driven hard rock, I was really quite startled. And actually very impressed. Because it's a testament to the breadth and depth of Daly's musical abilities. And "All Fall Down" is a culmination of this ability. He runs quite a gamut for soft and soulful ballad to full-on balls to the wall rock, and everything in between. And what's really cool for someone who began as a fan of his live shows, he has a production style that really captures the rawness of his live performances. Part of that comes from the strength of his soul-baring lyrics, and part of that comes from the naked angst of his voice which is molasses thick with earnestness in some songs and stretched to the point of breaking with anger in others. To put it more succinctly, when Daly sings a line, you can tell he really means it.

Okay, this thing has gone on longer than I intended, I really just meant to come here and write a few lines to the effect that this a really good album and you should buy if you like good music. But one more thing: I also want to issue a complaint to the artist in question. As I have indicated I began as fan of Daly's live performances, and as myself and other local fans may have noticed, Daly hasn't done a live show in a while. Over a year actually. His website indicates he still lives in the Los Angeles area, or at the very least it doesn't indicate he has moved away. So where did you go Neil? Rumors in the Hollywood music scene abound. Some say he is on an extended tour in Europe. Some say he disappeared into the wilds of East Africa to become a gun runner. And still others say he died bloated and drunk in a Paris bathtub four years ago, and his estate is simply releasing previously recorded but unreleased material to maintain the illusion that he is alive. I don't know the answer. But I can tell you this: the truth lies with Frank Stallone. Frank Stallone is the key.

So, Dear Reader, before I bid you fond farewell, I hope that you take two things away from this rambling, and mostly nonsensical review: "All Fall Down" is really good and you should buy it, and if you live in the southern California area, inundate Neil with e-mail at to get him performing again. The world will be a better place for it.

**** "Fall Fall Down Down"
Reviewer: a music fan
I first heard this work when my father finally upgraded our entertainment center with a CD Player. He then went out and bought all of his old vinyl records again on CD. The first bought was this little album. The album: "All Fall Down," the artist: Neil Daly, my life: never the same. With the opening track "Colour of the Past," upon first listen you would probably think its a drug anthem, but Daly is so much more than that... deeper then Tolstoy and wittier the Vonnegut. After really analyzing it, the song was about just what Daly called it, falling down, this then sets the tones of the album. Daly wanders about aimlessly looking for love whether it be the visions of a lost love in "One More Past" to the one he just lets go of in "Dead Flowers." Either way, Daly's sarcasm and absolute disgust at the miriad of dating leaves the listener bewildered about their own dating routines. This album is especially a treat after a serious breakup and just like the back up band in "Wrong for the Right Reasons," you'll be shouting yeah Neil, sing it! But then Daly as he always does surprises you and ends the album with perhaps one of his most tender love ballads ever written, the lonesome pine to the "Halloween Candy." This cynical writer expresses love, beauty, honor to one who he feels is just out of his reach that this cynic ponders the question of should he wait for her. "All Fall Down" is an amazing masterpiece and should be considered not only one of the greatest albums of all time, but also one of the most intelligent poetic works of the twentieth century. And as an added note someone once asked me what is the best track on the album... i looked at them squarely and just said "play."

- released in 2000

*** "Simplicity Sells!"
Reviewer: Jon Pruett, staff writer (from
Processed guitars, drum machines and Poetry 101 analogies bind together for a journey into the world of alterna-radio. This Los Angeles troubadour sets his course towards Soundscan-land.

Reviewer: Dante Van Slater (record producer)
(taken from
"Sleepwalkers" is a remarkable follow-up album by a remarkable young artist. Neil Daly has managed to take his unique blend of Alternative/Pop songwriting to another level. And in doing so, he offers us a subtle, yet definite change in style. Gone are the wailing guitars, and driving rhythms of his earlier work (1999's "Fight the Fuzz Bars"), having been replaced by a more ambient hint of electronica. Perhaps a gamble by today's commercial standards, yet a gamble worth taking as Daly's decision to abandon his previous formula only seems to further his songwriting prowess. But it is still Daly's lyrics that prove his effectiveness. His aching romanticism and heartfelt honesty cast a spell of introspection over the listener, reminding us of a simpler time, if not a happier one. A time when "...throwing stones outside your bedroom window..." or "...the radio playing our song..." was the extent of our cares. Indeed, we may never see the world through Neil Daly's eyes, but thanks to "Sleepwalkers," we can at least hear it!

Reviewer: Reis
(taken from
With his sophomore effort, Neil Daly's sound has evolved into a fusion of rock, electronica, and infectious pop that are sampled on such singles as "Dizzy" and "Before You." While mainstream radio may still be a year or two away, Daly nevertheless has formed a strong foundation on which to build his career. For fans of his "Fight the Fuzz Bars," the driving guitar rhythms have taken a minor backseat, but the lyrical prowess he wields rivals most mainstream bands. Passages such as, "...Helpless when I've lost control/For your heart, I'd sell my soul/Can we just go.../Can we just go home?" speak volumes for his ability to touch the kindred spirits of love. The bottom line: the boy can flat out make great music!

*** "Stylistic Departure from Earlier Work"
Reviewer: David Jecko (from
"Sleepwalkers" marks a dramatic departure in musical style from Daly's heavy, guitar-driven debut album, "Fight the Fuzz Bars." Opting for a much lighter feel, "Sleepwalkers" is comprised of a dozen dreamy ballads played out to a more techno-organic score. While I must admit to being a bigger guitar fan than digital synth/keyboard fan, the songwriting on "Sleepwalkers" is certainly a step ahead of "Fuzz Bars." The lyrics to songs like "She," "Dizzy," "Still Small Voice," and "Molasses Kiss" are poetic and give this album a far more optimistic outlook by the last song's finish.

- released in 1999

*** Three stars from All Music Guide

Reviewer: Dante Van Slater (producer)
(taken from
A wonderful discovery for guitar rock enthusiasts looking for a fresh new face. Daly's "Fight the Fuzz Bars" combines imaginative lyrics with a multi-layered attack of "Fuzz." But underneath this monstrous wall of sonic distortion and wailing guitars, lies the poetry of perhaps the last great idealist...the soul of a true dreamer. And most importantly, there are virtually no throw-away tracks on the album. From the opening riff of Caterpillar, to the last tear-jerking vocal of Meet You Half-way, "Fight the Fuzz Bars" will have you hooked.

**** "Great MP3 downloads, Better Disc!"
Reviewer: Frank Logan (taken from
First of all, let me say I never usually buy CDs from these independent artists on CD Baby or I enjoy downloading the songs for my MP3 player and that is usually it. But with this CD I made an exception because I found the songs so compelling, and it was definitely worth it! As good as the songs are on this site, I don't think they do justice to the CD as a whole. Most of the songs rock, but there a couple of ballads thrown in, which I usually don't like (and even skipped over the first few times I listened to the CD) but they are actually pretty good too. Overall this a pretty damn good disc and if you are into rock music but are tired of the crap on MTV and the radio then you should give this CD a try.

Reviewer: Steggopuss
(taken from
An exciting hard rock album for a new generation of rock fans. Neil Daly's "Fight the Fuzz Bars" should bring good, solid rock and roll back to the radio, and eliminate all the fluff that's on top of the charts. We need some more Fuzz!

**** "Neil Daly ROCKS!!!!"
Reviewer: C. Davis
(taken from
My friends and I download a lot of MP3's and are always looking for cool new bands. I noticed that Neil Daly always seems to have a few songs on the charts (usually ranked pretty high). So, I asked some of my friends what they thought of Daly's material. And we all reached the same conclusion. Neil Daly ROCKS!!!! And his CD, "Fight the Fuzz Bars", is awesome! Every song is good, and that's hard to find nowadays. Now, my friends and I tell new people about "Fight the Fuzz Bars", but the only thing we fight about is who found Neil Daly first.

Reviewer: Allison Andrews (Indie Charts)
(taken from
"Fight the Fuzz Bars" is an amazing debut outing from Los Angeles independent musician, Neil Daly. Combining all of the necessary elements of alternative rock, with commercial pop, Daly has crafted a contagious masterpiece by fusing 70's style classic rock riffs, with mezmorizing melodies that keep you singing in the car well after the last note has faded away. Although he cautiously keeps his vocals just underneath the guitar tracks, forcing the listener to read along with the insert to hear them, Daly's lyrics seem to come from a soul far deeper than the majority of modern rock artists in the mainstream. "Fight the Fuzz Bars" packs all the punch of some of the hardest rock outfits on the radio, but Neil Daly's soft-spoken words, and sexy lyrical style embrace rather than engage.

**** "New Artist Offers True Alternative"
Reviewer: Christopher O'Rourke, staff writer (taken from "In The Groove" magazine)
In today's music industry climate of over-produced bubble gum pop, and so-called "alternative" one-hit wonders, along comes "Fight the Fuzzbars" by singer/songwriter Neil Daly to offer a true alternative. When the radio offers nothing but disposable singles by bands you have never heard of, and more than likely, will never hear from again, Neil Daly desires to be more than a flash in the pan. "Fight the Fuzzbars" presents listeners with a scarcity in modern music: a complete and accessible album written and performed by a talented songwriter/musician. Everything from solid guitar riffs to lush orchestration to captivating melodies is featured on an impressive debut by this exciting new artist. On the surface, most listeners will be taken in by the pop-sensibility and instantly engaging hooks and riffs of "Fuzzbars", but what appeals most is the lyrical quality and continuity of the album, both in theme and caliber. From straight-ahead rockers like "Caterpillar" and "Dark Me" to ballads touching in their simple sentiment like "Heaven Sent" and "Meet You Half Way", "Fuzzbars" maintains a coherence from one song to the next with its earnest lyrics. Even with experimental songs like the fratricidal "Gray Room", and the whimsically melancholy "Nereid" thrown into the mix, "Fuzzbars" seems almost to be a theme album. Its wistfulness speaks of someone at a crossroads. Someone not sure which way life is heading, and grappling with the anxiety of what lies ahead and the pathos of leaving something behind. Underneath the heady array of silvery guitars and dulcet melodies lies a voice expressing bittersweet truths of the soul. With his ability to speak so intimately through his work and connect so deeply with his listeners, Neil Daly transcends the term "musician" on "Fight the Fuzzbars" and truly achieves the status of "artist". (The preceding was taken from the Winter 2000 edition of "In the Groove" magazine.)

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