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Dark Young Hearts

FrYars Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 25.00
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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Sep 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pias Uk Ltd
  • ASIN: B002M4AUZW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,079 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jerusalem
2. The Ides
3. Lakehouse
4. Visitors
5. Of March
6. A Last Resort
7. Novelist's Wife
8. Ananas Trunk Railway
9. Olive Eyes
10. Happy
11. Benedict Arnold
12. Morning

Product Description

BBC Review

frYars is often smug. Lend debut album Dark Young Hearts an ear and you’ll recognise the self-satisfaction rising in a ribbiting froth from the dark end of Ben Garrett’s throat, getting tangled in his curly, brown hair and leaving dubious stains all over his moth bitten blazer. The question is: does frYars deserve to be smug? And if he does, does that smugness not immediately preclude his deserving of it? You’d think so, but then frYars is also often elegant, heartfelt, poised and intriguing. Which presents us with a quandary.It’s a problem best illustrated by a pair of tracks cradled to this album’s midriff. A Last Resort is a gorgeous acoustic lull in Dark Young Hearts’ mostly electronic clamour, its ukulele skiffle like Beirut’s if Zach Condon had mined Blackpool rather than the Balkans for inspiration. The lyrics, sometimes iffy elsewhere on the record, are affecting here, Garrett delivering the line “I think I’m too old to feel / this real” with a sincerity that’s unsettling in a 19-year-old. If his youth occasionally blesses Dark Young Hearts with an alarming precocity, the track that follows A Last Resort seems to suffer for the wetness behind Garrett’s ears; Novelist’s Wife finding the southwest Londoner awkwardly gurgling and stretching words until they sound embarrassed of their own letters.That battle between natural talent and inevitable naivety is what you’d expect from a debut album, and frYars’ debut is defined by it. Previous singles Olive Eyes and The Ides are outstanding: both sullen, slightly absurd thrusts of 80s pop, but both also sound quite a lot like Patrick Wolf doing guest vocals for The Knife. Inexplicably, the smugness endures, until it’s oddly appealing. Much of Dark Young Hearts feels too pristine, in production and compositional terms; a hundred styles – steel pan, folk, synthpop, orchestral ballads –subdued within the mix. That Garrett very rarely sounds like anything other than a young man trying to find his own voice redeems Dark Young Hearts.

It’s good to hear someone young making mistakes. It gives frYars depth and room to grow – it gives him a future, essentially. --Kev Kharas

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hits And Misses (6/10) 9 Oct 2009
By Gannon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Not many people beat Patrick Wolf to the punch, but frYars (aka Ben Garrett) did, acquiring a Bandstocks account to finance the self-release of his album, before Wolf did the same with his Bachelor album. The similarity doesn't stop there. If Lycanthropy floated your boat, chances are you'll find something of interest in the flambuoyant Young Dark Hearts. It seems the pair have been rubbing off on one another, if you'll excuse the unfortunate imagery conjured.

Anyway, such production methods challenge the order of things in the music industry, but aren't quick. It has been well over 18 months since Garrett released the brilliantly baffling The Ides EP, followed by the single 'Olive Eyes', both of which are here comprised and still shimmer darkly like an 80s Leonard Cohen DJing some Pet Shop Boys bash.

The rest of Dark Young Hearts continues this 80s electro-pop template, here a touch of Depeche Mode (Dave Gahan even cameo-ing on 'Visitors'), there a little Duran Duran. The opener, 'Jerusalem', even suggests at David Byrne, but the feel is definitely more bedroom than stadium-sized.

frYars has successfully tapped the vein marked 'interesting, bouncy charm', but also all too often the ones marked 'smug indulgence' and 'lightweight'. Though it pains to say it, an overseeing label would probably have curtailed this, insisting on uniformity. And if there's one thing Patrick Wolf does beat frYars at, it's uniform.
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