Darwin Deez – Double Down
Brooklyn indie-pop oddball Darwin Deez cites influences for his sophomore release as diverse as The Beatles, Nietzsche, Ridley Scott and the Indian spiritual master Meher Baba. Despite his highbrow name-dropping, however, Deez’s lyrical content doesn’t quite add up to the sum of his lofty inspirations – ‘You only care about your hair/To you a mirror is a miracle,’ limp the opening lines of The Mess She Made, while Last Cigarette is a labored two-and-a-half minute allegory of a dissolving relationship.
He may be lyrically juvenescent but musically Deez does craft some creative pop collages – the wriggling bass of Time Machine, and the smooth arrangement of mellow guitars, synths and spacey 80s melody of Bag of Tricks evince the kind of peculiar frivolity that made Radar Detector a hit single back in 2010. On Double Down though, the balance feels out of whack, with Deez in a mood so capricious that it’s difficult to discern whether there’s any true wit behind the whimsy.