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neumu
Thursday, November 23, 2017 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Darren Hanlon
recording
Hello Stranger
Candle
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rating


Australian singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon loves a pun — to a fault. On this, his debut full-length release as a sometimes witty troubadour, always ready with an unexpected turn of phrase, he tosses off couplets and single lines that are chuckleworthy, cringeworthy or vomitworthy, depending on your view of one of the comedy world's lowliest humor devices.

As he croons "A thousand ideas I try to tell crossword girl/ How do I get one across when you're always too down" on opener "Hiccups," you can almost see the smirk on his face. That clever-clever smirk permeates one too many tracks here.

That said, he can be both amusing and sincere, as on "He Misses You Too, You Know": "And I know it's hard to become whole/ When you're usually referred to as his better half/ But you're still the girl who chops onions wearing swimming goggles/ You're still the same girl you were before." Or entertaining, with a novelist's eye for concise character construction, on "Punk's Not Dead": "I couldn't give a damn about the friends of mine she'll scare/ Some people just can't see past studs and bleached-blonde spiky hair/ I say 'A' for Abba she says 'A' for anarchy/ In the morning she says 'Never mind the bollocks here's your cup of tea.'"

Musically Hanlon has moved away from his Simpletons punk roots to a mostly light-and-breezy indie-pop sound: acoustic guitar rhythms, electric guitar lead lines, 4/4 drums and straightforward bass lines. Proceedings are broken up by tracks on which banjo ("Cheat the Future") and piano ("The Last Night of Not Knowing You") take over from acoustic guitar as the primary instrument.

However, Hanlon's lyrics and voice, as with most eponymous singer-songwriter outfits, are the focus here. Hanlon sings in a unique Australian drawl which, like his punning, is either endearing and honest or grating and affected, depending on your views about suitable singing accents. Even if you enjoy the accent, it's almost a relief when Frida Eklund from Swedish pop duo Alma takes lead vocals on the bittersweet "A Cast of Thousands."

Hanlon can be a fine songsmith, a skill unfortunately displayed in too few tracks here. He needs to be less cloying and play it a little straighter with his lyrics if he wants to incite more emotions than first-listen giggles and 10th-listen annoyance.


by Ben Gook




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