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Friday, August 27, 2010

Track-by-Track: Darin - Lovekiller

It's always nice to see a little cohesion in pop albums -- an artist that knows the sound they want and sticks to it. No wishy-washy one-off experiments. With Darin's 5th release, he's gone for a very specific, big-beat-ballad sound that suits him better than anything else he's done to this point. It's cheesy stuff, but of the absolute highest quality.

1. Microphone - One of only two tracks that fall into the "not a ballad" category, this is an excellent, aggressive ode to performance that opens the album perfectly. A huge hit waiting to happen. 10/10

2. You're Out Of My Life - His Melodifestivalen entry, and a template for the rest of the ballads on the album. It was one of the stronger entries in the competition this year (despite some lousy lyrics) and fits in wonderfully here. 9/10

3. Lovekiller - His most overblown (and best) single yet. I loved this from the moment I heard it. Grandiose accusatory lyrics + chest-beating choir = cheesy pop bliss. 10/10

4. Only You Can Save Me - Apart from the singles, this is probably the strongest ballad of the bunch. It's got that fist-pumping, larger-than-life chorus. Totally formulaic, but it's a formula that works. 10/10

5. Drowning - Another clunker lyric-wise, but the marching band drumbeat and huge melody save it. If you're gonna write a pop ballad, this is exactly what it should sound like. Still, it's not as strong as the last one. 8/10

6. Viva La Vida - I'd take a lot of flak in certain circles for saying this, but I prefer this 100% to the Coldplay version. In fact, this is the version I'll be listening to from now on. He really brings out a level in the lyrics that Chris Martin didn't. Who would've thought that electro euro-dance would have complimented this so well? It's pretty epic. 10/10

7. Endless Summer - My least favorite track, though for a gentle, late-Summer acoustic ballad it's not bad. And it fills an important slot, offering some much-needed texture to an otherwise bombastic album. 8/10

8. OK (Dangerous Game) - A Gaga-esque dance track (the only one here) and one hell of a hook-fest. There's a heavy Michael Jackson influence, though the sound is more along the lines of his last album. Except it's better. 10/10

9. Can't Stop Love - A sappy ballad that returns him to the heavy-beat sound of the first few tracks. Not as strong as some of the earlier tracks, but pleasant enough. 8/10

10. I'll Be Alright - A slower, more haunting track with a great hook. His vocals really pop on this one, and the lyrics are some of the best on the album. A very strong closer. 9/10

Album Grade: 9.2/10

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Anonymous Kathy said...

Just an FYI - MGMT's new video "Congratulations" is up on vevo: and you can get the record at amazon FOR $5!!!

1:49 AM  
Blogger Myfizzypop said...

been away for a week and come back to a plethora of brilliant posts (this is the first one i missed right up to Chromeo/Solange). So pleased you like the Darin album :)

1:14 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Paul, glad you're back! Have you been keeping up with this season of Weeds? I am completely obsessed all over again!

10:29 AM  

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