dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Darren Hayes' "Black Out The Sun" Video + A Really Long, Rambling Bit From Me

I really dug Darren Hayes' last single "Talk Talk Talk," even though it took a few listens to totally click. I've been a fan of the Aussie singer-songwriter since buying Savage Garden's "I Want You" single back in early '97, and so it's been an interesting ride watching Daz grow as an artist.

Spin, his first solo album, was a bit of a pop/R&B hodge podge, but it's an enjoyable mix that became one of my most-played CDs back in '02. Then came The Tension And The Spark two years later, which blew Spin out of the water, and showed that Hayes had finally shed the heavy burden of tackling commercial success as a solo artist — having already conquered said achievement while part of SG gave him that leeway, monetarily and probably mentally — and was now ready to explore a creative side he probably hadn't previously dared to engage.

And, let's be clear: The Tension And The Spark is a really effing fantastic pop album. At 13 tracks, it's also a dark journey at times. (One need only dig a bit online to read what was happening in Hayes' personal life to find the context). The ultimate testament of Darren's second solo record is that, for a LP released back in 2004, it's solid enough that it sounds as if it could have been dropped this week (thanks, in part, to Hayes and Robert Conley's other-worldly production.)

Side note: The Tension And The Spark was initially not made available in the States, but it's been on iTunes now for about three years.  If you only go for one track, let it be "Light" — because you probably won't want to stop after that.

The singer followed that up with double-album This Delicate Thing We've Made, and by that time Chart Rigger was online. It was fun to feverishly track the progress and release as it was happening. (I was an editor at Instinct magazine then, and we interviewed Darren no less than three times between 2006 and 2007 — and you can also stream my Towleroad interview with him here.)

Anyway, I didn't mean for this to get so long and rambly (not an actual word — until now). I guess the big point I wanted to make is that "Black Out The Sun," Darren's new single (the second from upcoming album Secret Codes And Battleships, after "Talk Talk Talk"), is a lush new jam that seems to show he's finally ready to marry a bit of his original pop/R&B sensibility with the electronic sound he's been pursuing for the past few albums.

Oh, and it kind of sounds like Pussycat Dolls' "Buttons."

"Black Out The Sun" will be released on October 2, ahead of the October 17 release of Hayes' fourth solo LP Secret Codes And Battleships.



  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger John said…

    Both of the new singles are excellent, but I think I like "Black Out the Sun" more. He's doing a great job teasing this album so far.


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