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Clare Jerome

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The Tension and the Spark
The Tension and the Spark
Price: £8.31

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark to Light, 5 Feb. 2005
'Tension and the Spark'
Darren Hayes has progressed as a songwriter, and an artist as his new solo album clearly shows. The beginning song "Darkness", a story about life, how you get lost, and how the thing you fear most is yourself. "Darkness is the introduction to the subject matter that is the central theme of my new album" comments Hayes. "Here I am in Darkness.. at Zero, at my lowest point and yet still I'm searching for hope in the darkness."
The singer/songwriter abandons polished pop ballads for raw sounds and emotions to describe his "personal journey from darkness into light."
Hayes confesses a wide spectrum of sentiments from forgiveness to misery to confusion, all with dark, primal undertones.
In one song, "Unlovable," he reveals his honest vulnerability through heartbreaking lyrics like "You made me feel like my father never loved me." In another, called "Pop!ular," he takes a satirical look at the desperation to obtain celebrity. All the while, Hayes experiments with pop and electronica, which to some could sound overproduced with the excess of strange beats, but which I think adds complexity and energy to many tracks.
In another song written by Hayes, "Feel". The most simple song on the album and the most effective. The purest lyrics sang with such sincerity. Hayes teams up with Marius De Vries (Madonna's Ray Of Light, Bjork, The Moulin Rouge" and Mark "Spike" Stent (Bjork, Madonna, Massive Attack, Depeche Mode). Their advanced production & mixing skills give this album a complex and rich sound. Also co-writer and producer of the album Robert Conley who worked with Hayes on his last solo album "Spin" projestc his own unique style into the music.

Elsewhere Darren has created an album that pulsates with sexy rhythms ('I Like The Way'), majestic ballads ('Dublin Sky') and awe-inspiring experimentation ('Void'), and never once disappoints.
What stands out most on The Tension and The Spark is the record's psychologically complex and deeply personal subject matter. "It's an album that describes a personal journey from darkness into light," Darren explains. "From blame to forgiveness and, finally, to the acceptance that everything, even misery, happens for a reason. And at the end of the day, there is a light at the end of the tunnel".
Hayes is fast becoming one of the most interesting characters in music. His ability to adapt to numerous styles and create music way beyond the realms of most of his peers is quite an achievement and makes 'The Tension And The Spark' one of the most exciting pop albums of the year.


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When The Music Feels Like This......, 3 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Spin (Audio CD)
Darren Hayes returns after the success of the band Savage Garden. Darren works with Walter Afanasieff, Greg Biek, Robert Conley and most importantly Rick Nowels. Spin is very different to SG's music but still very much the same. It's a fun, romantic, funky record. If the Moulin Rouge was a record, this would be it. The opening track Strange Relationship kicks in with strings. This skillfully written song expresses a complicated love affair and is one of my favourite songs. The sexy romantic Insatiable follows where Darren gets to "show off" his outstanding vocal abillity. The beautifuly written lyrics make this one of the best songs on the album, Insatiable is a magic song. Straight after that you get hit with the funky beats of Heart Attack. Some people after hearing this song have compared Darren to Michael Jackson. Its one of the funkiest songs on the album. I Miss You is a simple but beautilful ballad. The meaning of it is when you just love somebody so much you miss them all the time - when they leave the room - you want to follow them. This song reminds me of the savage garden hit I Knew I Loved You and reminds me how brilliant Darren is at wrtiting truthfull simple, beautifull love ballads. Creepin' Up On You is probably one of my favourite up-tempo songs off the album. It's extrememly catchy chorus will have you singing it all day. it's another pukka song! Dirty! is not Darrens attempt at covering a Christina A song, but instead he delivers a funky, sexy, DIRTY song! Another pop-tastic song. Crush (1980 ME) is a pop treat! Descibing Darrens favourite year - 1983. It opens: "Cyndi Lauper, Jackson, Simon Le Bon, I put Eurythmics on". This catchy little tune is irressitable and one of the best songs off of Spin. You wont be able to help yourself from joining in on the chorus.... "Gotta little Crush, ooooh I just cant get enough of that stuff, such a rush....." I cant ever get enough of you is another simple yet beautifull ballads from Darren but wouldnt make my top 5 songs off of the album. Good Enough is a song which everyone can relate to. Darren just states that because he's different or just "not perfect" - could he be good enough - which I think everyone asks themselves sometimes.Also Darrens voice at the and will wow your socks off - how does he sing that great? Just because you dont fit the typical stererotype doesnt mean your not good enough is what I think Darren is saying in this song. The intro to Like It Or Not always gets me crying - its just something about the mood of the song which is very meloncholy but true.Its about losing someone and not knowing how much they meant to you but knowing that you can never get them back again. Another skilled song from Darren. What You Like is a funky love song - not my favourite at first but now it has grown on me and I really like this song. Last but not least Spin! This is one of my favourite songs. Darren sings about the importance of music today and shows how this album is a celebration of music. Current affairs are in this song but the chorus : "when the music feels like this, when you lose control you gotta go with it, 10 feet hight flying above the sky, your problems dont exsist , when music feels like this. This funky brilliant produced song is the perfect song to end the album with.Perfecr pop but with a true meaning. It leaves you feeling happy and in love with music, particulary Darrens.

Take A Bow (In Da Soul Mix)
Take A Bow (In Da Soul Mix)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Ballad, 3 Feb. 2003
Take A Bow is a single taken from Madonnas 1994 album Bedtime Stories. This soft, delicate vocal delivered by Madonna along with the backup singing done by Babyface makes this song a beautifull ballad. Babyface who also co-wrote the song and produced it features a lot on the album. The chorus goes, " I've always been in love with you, I guess you've always known it's true. you took my love for granted, why oh why?" .Being the last song on the album it gives it that finishing touch. Bedtime Stories showed Madonna's r'n'b roots and you will be humming this song forever. I sounds like a lullaby. This special import version includes different instrumental versions of the song.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2013 6:22 PM BST

Wind & Rain
Wind & Rain
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £76.48

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finbar returns!, 3 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Wind & Rain (Audio CD)
I have been a huge fan of the Fureys for ages.But my favourite has always been Finbar. He returns this time with another solo project full of original songs.The haunting single "The Wind and the Rain" is about a past love "each love song I hear, just reminds me of you, I keep hearing your voice through the words".The first track on the album though is the beautifull and haunting "Aran Girl". Finbar plays his uiléan pipes again to really bring this song together. Other songs on the album reveal about his childhood like the song "Gypsy Goboy". A sad but beautifull song is "My Song of Emigration" which brought tears to my eyes. Also Finbar sings his now-famous song "Travelling Lady" which was written with his mother in mind. Finbar does a rememorable cover of "Carrickfergus" on his pipes and the album ends with the up-lifting and quite comical "Mrs A". If you are a fan of The Fureys or of Irish music you will love this album and throughout Finbars career I think this is some of his best work.

Thank You for Hearing Me
Thank You for Hearing Me

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Sinéad song!, 3 Feb. 2003
Somebody bought me Sinéad O'Connor's album "Universal Mother" and for some reason I was put off from listening to it. I decided to listen to it about 2 years ago and since then I have become a huge Sinéad fan. The first song I heard off of the album was "Thankyou for Hearing Me". It was so haunting and beautifull, maybe because of its simplicity. The song builds up but each verse has the same melody."Thankyou for hearing me" is repeated four times then other lyrics include "thankyou for staying with me"and "thankyou for loving me".By the end of the song she is putting so much emotion into what she is singing until it ends with the sound of the sea washing up against the beach. This song has shown me what a talented lady Sinéad is and what a skilled songwriter she is. It has become one of my favourite Sinéad songs and one of my favourite songs of all time.

No Mans Woman
No Mans Woman
Offered by adrians_records
Price: £6.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best songs, 3 Feb. 2003
This review is from: No Mans Woman (Audio CD)
This single taken from Sinéads album "Faith & Courage" has a more commercial sound and with more of a rock edge to it. Basically this song represents women as Sinéad sings: "i dont wanna be no mans woman,it dont make me happy". She continues to sing "coz im tired of it, and im so scared of it". The song builds up and by the second verse you realise what a great song this is and remember what a skilled songwriter Sinéad is. Its one of the best songs on the album and i think one of the best songs she has ever written.

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