Album Review: Danny Starr – Darling (NewMusicFriday Ep 20 winner)

Danny Starr – Darling

Danny Starr’s new release, Darling, dives straight in with voice, guitar, drums and bass hitting your ears in an instant, wasting no time at all and demanding your immediate attention. This insistence is appropriate as the title track is quickly revealed to be a desperate request, singing and repeating “Darling, please don’t you leave”. Gotta love an album that begins the melodic pleading.

The songs move quickly and are tightly arranged to deliver satisfying musical arcs in 3 minutes or less. Starr’s vocal control is impressive and wonderfully showcased in “I Danced With You” and lyrically, the track aptly captures the simultaneous whole-body pain and also reckless liberation of infatuation. Informed by a strong pop- rock sensibility, Starr’s hooks are easy to sing along with and are sure to circle through your mind even after the song concludes. “Love Struck” is an easy transition from “I Danced With You”, using a similar chord progression without feeling too repetitive. Lyrically, the punchy third track of the album constructs a sort of “fish-bowl” narrative, in that the speaker is looking from the outside-in at predicaments of intimacy, fear, and the evanescence of attraction.

The final track of the collection, “Cupid’s Drunk” is whimsical and impulsive and the arrangement of guitar, drums and bass remains cohesive to the collection as a whole, but amps up the intensity through strategic use of dynamics and harmonic progressions. Darling is a lighthearted conversation surrounding young love and the impulses of youth, optimistic in a summer-y naivety sort of way that makes you want to roll down the car windows are drive fast into the sunset over the Pacific coast.

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