Review Summary: More technicality, more sophisticated...almost more fun.
I'm not going to lie...when i first heard the single "Free (The Editorial Me)," on youtube a few months ago, i was a bit worried. I fell instantly in love with Darwin Deez the moment i heard the first album. Everything about it was filled with a whimsical charm of carefree guitar playing, enjoyable soundscapes, and very dark lyrics that were made more effective with the happy music that lied behind them.
But what the new single brought to me was a much more chaotic, less carefree sound. it was loud, still definitely Darwin Deez, but didn't have that instant charm and appeal that the debut did. I had this fear that maybe Darwin, with all the out of nowhere success that he had, maybe got a bit full of himself and was trying to make much more refined and sophisticated music to show that he wasn't just some indie pop guy. And in a sense, I was right. the music that lies inside "Songs..." is much less carefree, and more challenging to listen to than the simple river that the first album was.
The album opens with "(800) Human" with the line
"ARE YOU SICK OF NOT EXISTING?"
My previous fears seemed to be realized immediately. "oh no" i thought. "He's trying way too hard." But as the song unfolds, you do get bits of that charm underneath the surprisingly more technical guitar work that Deez performs. The opening song is almost without a doubt the worst song on the album. The track "No Love" is one of the highlights. The peaceful keyboard sooths as the guitar drones with a very clever riff and droops down into your mind. This song actually probably would have fit perfectly into the debut without almost a second thought. I do have to mention just for a second that darwin deez actually shreds his 4 string, strangely tuned guitar like you never thought was possible. The few years in between releases has really paved way for practice on his instrument. On several occasions a solo pops up that surprises in its fun sound and crazy sweepage. The end of "Moonlit" holds one of the albums best solos and lasts until the end of the song which works very efficiently. "Redshift" holds one of the most surprising moments in the album with its chorus that explodes quite loudly and effectively. So yes..the songs are much more sophisticated than the debut, but as far as most music goes, it is still pretty simple. The most impressive, and my personal favorite song on the entire album is "All In The Wrist." its the quietest song on the album and just drifts and drifts with a catchy beat and beautiful soothing guitar work all the way through. By the end, i always feel sad to hear it go away
In the end, this album was a nice surprise. After fears and worries after how much i loved the debut, this album impresses and soothes in ways that the first album never did.