Darren Hayes

Darren Hayes

Spin

Columbia

Darren Hayes probably figured he’d rake in twice the dollars if he went solo, because, musically speaking, there’s not much separating this from anything found on Savage Garden’s two multi-million billion sellers. And so, if you loved them, you’ll love this. If you didn’t, you’re probably not going to give this one a listen anyway.

Savage Garden probably got more public critical spanking than they actually deserved. Their music was derivative and generic and manipulative and all that, for sure, but the duo certainly knew their way around the radio-pop format, and some of it was, let’s face it, pretty catchy. In an annoying way, mind, but still catchy enough. And Hayes is still the master of this, it seems, as this album is chock-full of urban smoothness and effortless, unabashed pop music. Sometimes he’s slightly reminiscent of an even whiter Michael Jackson, and he seems to share every Australian’s fascination with 1980s mainstream pop, if you’ll pardon my prejudices. Lightweight pop with a gentle nod in the direction of contemporary soul and well-produced R&B. The single “Insatiable” is as good as it gets on this album, so you know what to expect, as if you didn’t already. And while there are some really bland stuff on this — “I Can’t Get Enough of You” is groundbreaking dullness — this is competent, inoffensive, pretty alright middle-of-the-airwaves pop. Nothing less, nothing more.

Columbia Records: http://www.columbiarecords.com

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