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- Darlings by Kevin Drew
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I went to see Broken Social Scene live once. For the first hour and a half or so I thought they were lovely, then the next hour or so I was starting to flag, tired feet, sore back, bored ears, and for the final hour of their set I really started to not care about anything they ever did ever again. My job, however, insists I start caring again and pronto, because here's their frontman Kevin Drew's new solo LP on my stack.
What's happening on this LP is a lot of gentle synth-heavy indiepop with a bit of a woozy, nocturnal feel to a lot of the songs. They tend to be quite quiet and his singing is a hushed croon with a bit of Bryan Ferry to it in places. On tracks like 'Bullshit Ballad' there's some of the layered textured noise that fans of his other band will lap up, but it's a more straightforward pop aesthetic he's peddling this time round, but like the National gone synthpop the focus is more on moodiness than catchiness and you probably won't be getting these songs stuck in your head.
He's at his best here when the songs are stripped down to almost nothing. 'My God' is a slinky bass and piano shuffle that's transfixing in its near-nothingness, a sparse heartachey mumble worthy of the mighty Morphine. Sadly however this is an exception rather than the norm on this album and he's back to the slick but strangely empty layered synthpop business again before long. It never truly appals but if you're not already a fan of Drew's work it probably won't convert you.
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