2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Out of Silence (Audio CD)
Dare's debut album has, to my mind, a bit of a split personality. The consistency factor comes from the layers of sumptuous keyboards, strong hooks and Darren's husky passionate vocals that permeate throughout, but the songs seem to fall into 2 camps. On the one hand there are timeless tracks that hint at the majesty to come on the later and quite magnificent 'Calm Before The Storm' album, including the haunting `Under The Sun' and `Abandon'. Then there are songs that are more `of their time', notably the syrupy and dated single `Nothing is Stronger Than Love' or the dreary 'King of Spades' (an oddly titled tribute to the deceased Phil Lynott, who Darren played keyboards for in Thin Lizzy).
As indicated in the other reviews, the whole album is, however, a master class in mid eighties AOR (bordering on the softer side of, say, Bad English, 21 Guns and even as Brian Cox stated on the Jonathan Ross Show, 'Oldham's answer to Bon Jovi') and, if this your bag, then this is a must buy. However, I sense that the two styles on the album are symptomatic of Darren finding his identity, a fact borne out by the confusing, incongruous and relatively one dimensional heavier work-out of 'Blood From Stone' that followed this album. Thankfully Darren got all the planets aligned on the follow up to 'Blood From Stone', namely the classic `Calm Before The Storm', a heady brew of Celtic influences and restrained and emotional power. Unfortunately he then arguably 'lost it' slowly through a succession of albums that became more overwhelmingly Celtic and arguably more religious/spiritual in tone and content (e.g. the aptly titled 'Belief').
That shouldn't detract from anyone purchasing this fine debut though. There is enough emotional depth and weight in `Under The Sun', `Abandon', `Don't Let Go' and the rockier `Into The Fire' to make this a good buy - even the Lion King sounding 'Raindance' has a big west end stage glory all of its own. It perhaps a shame that the B sides of the single `Abandon', namely the delicate and poignant `Precious' and `The Last Time', hadn't ousted some of the more pedestrian mid 80's sounding tracks that made it onto the final roster of this otherwise strong debut album.
So good in its own right, but, for me, a taster of much greater things to come on the creative zenith that was 'Calm Before The Storm' and the rework 'Calm Before The Storm II'.