Kevin Drew - Darlings

‘Darlings’ is a good record.

Label: City Slang

Rating:

We need to talk about Kevin. It must be incredibly hard for Drew to step out of Broken Social Scene’s massive shadow. The thing is, ‘Darlings’ does sound different enough from his band’s mammoth output over the years, but Kevin Drew is still‘Broken Social Scene’s founder’.

‘Darlings’ is warm and expansive and sexy, and feels like a more intimate affair than his debut, 2007’s ‘Spirit If…’. Maybe it’s because there’s far fewer people at work on it, or maybe it’s the lack of ‘Broken Social Scene Presents’ preceding the title; it feels more like a solo record.

Opener ‘Body Butter’ may make you cringe if you’re unfamiliar with anything Drew’s done before. It might still make you cringe, actually. But its guitars are soft and inviting, not unlike a back massage from a caring partner, and it’s a great way to start ‘Darlings’ off. If there’s one thing Drew can sing about, it’s intimacy and sex in a realistic, messy, bodily-fluids-on-show way, a tradition first single ‘Good Sex’ continues as Drew informs: “Good sex, it never makes you feel clean”.

Some of the more spaced-out songs, like ‘My God’, feel like slight missteps. They’re just a bit too dreamy, compared to more powerful tracks like ‘Your In Your Were’, which follows. Of course, ‘Your In Your Were’ also has the advantage of one Leslie Feist popping up on vocals. Like the rest of the album though, it avoids sounding too much like a Broken Social Scene song, with more of a focus on synth than guitars.

‘Darlings’ is a good record. Without all that came before it, it could maybe be called a great record. Drew’s voice is as entrancing as it has ever been on closer ‘And That’s All I Know’, as it practically booms over subtle piano notes. It would be so easy for Drew to call off the hiatus – not least because they’re still playing the occasional gig – but instead, we have ‘Darlings’. And ‘Darlings’ is good.

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