It's funny James, those three are my favourites - it just shows how amazing an album it is, that we all find a lot we like even if our tastes are different. I'll let you in on a secret... I actually hated Early Days for a while.... I see it's lovely, but just same chords over and over gets to me (great lyrics though) and I do wish they'd let him have another go at the vocals.... however he song is hugely growing on me mostly because...
I was driving home last night, scenic route so I could spin New a few times..... and the irish national broadcaster had a review of NEW on the radio. They played both early days and New... (another song I'm only moderately crazy about - I mean, why can't we look at him?!) and I have to say they were such a wonderful surprise compared to the generic stuff you hear. I really fell for them. Anyway.. the review:
They went on and on and on about his voice due to Early days. I like it now - but I think that's because I know the feel he was going for. I think non-obsessives will listen and go "put your feet up love". The presenter (Sean Rocks - can that be a real name?) kept saying after Early Days - "whoa, that needed a rethink of the key there! His voice can't really stand up to this anymore, can it?!" I felt particularly enraged..
He went so far that eventually one of the contributors eventually said that that was the only example of croakiness, and that it added to the song. I started warming to her til she started rambling on that her problem with the album was that "he calls it NEW, but its not new. There are no new sounds here". What does that mean? What is a new sound?! Modern sounds? Road? Appreciate? I must misunderstand... Maybe she wanted the sounds of a milkman being strangled or something. Another contributor jumped in and said it was probably the start of a new relationship.. i.e. as the song NEW says... she seemed unconvinced. They all postulated some silly questions which would have all been answered by a cursory glance at the press release. They then played NEW, and suddenly all was bright. Presenter said he could sing "with a little help from my friends along with it"... no you can't.... but its went over very well. After much rubbish they actually all agreed that it was a great album and gave it 3.5 and 4 out of 5.