Album: Dan Black, 'Un' (A&M)
Friday 10 July 2009
Widely hailed as one of pop's brighter young things, Dan Black is best known so far for the single "Symphonies", which brings to mind the young Beck.
An expatriate Englishman whose debut album was recorded in the basement of his Paris apartment, Black displays few specific musical allegiances, skipping nimbly from baggy Madchester shuffle-grooves to electro twitchers to more straightforward club stompers, as the material demands. He displays a deft touch with string samples, modulating from cello stabs to full orchestral pads on tracks like "Symphonies" and "U + Me =", though his real skill lies in blending diverse elements into smooth adult pop arrangements reminiscent of World Party, particularly on the impressive "Ecstasy". Lyrically, he seems obsessed with dreams, whatever the emotional slant of the song. In "Cocoon", he offers the compliment "You give me ideas when the dreaming stops". Moments later, in "Yours", he's complaining about someone's "Passive-aggressive daily routines/ Now you pull up even my dreams". His own position, though, is probably best represented by "Life Slash Dreams", where he admits, "Life is life, dreams are dreams, and I'm floating somewhere in between". Which is usually where the best ideas originate. An impressive debut.
Download this: 'Symphonies', 'Ecstasy', 'Life Slash Dreams', 'I Love Life'
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
- 5 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Poldark finale review: Not even the 'putrid throat' and tragedy to stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest
Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
Cilla Black: Her 12 best songs, from 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' to 'You're My World'
Zoolander 2 trailer leaks online and it's really, really, ridiculously good looking
Fantastic Four: Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality