Darren Hanlon has never been a musician to stand still. In his early days (that’s an insider’s pun) his work played up a certain naïveté and simplicity of instrumentation and meter.
On this second full-lengther he got more creative. The songs are much more complex in structure and content. This does render the album slightly more hit and miss, but also more rewarding of close attention and multiple listens.
The radio fave (at least on RRR) was I Wish That I Was Beautiful For You, with its aching message and ‘it was all a dream’ trickery.
I find the imagery (and rhyming, of course) of Winter Takes Fall and Unmade Bed just as captivating. I particularly like the line “our guest is dressed by hand-me-down, hair-designed by pillow”.
Curiously, and somewhat disappointingly, the album takes an odd twist over the last three or so songs. The vibe shifts to much more subtle and ponderous, and, while the topics appeal (record stores, heavy metal t-shirts, NYC), the delivery leaves me cold.
The reason to play this album, however, is the presence of a song about squash (as Daz notes, a under-serenaded sport):
File under: Welcome in its warming