Kevin Drew – Darlings
While Darlings is the second solo release from Kevin Drew, a founding member of Broken Social Scene, it suggests a more focused, determined effort to escape the orbit of that band than was evident on 2007’s Spirit If…. Drew’s debut release was, in fact, more or less a BSS record in all but name, both in terms of personnel and sound; Darlings, conversely, has a weary, frazzled quality, lacking the emotive bombast that colours much of his collaborative work.
The tempo does pick up on songs like Bullshit Ballad, on which e-bowed guitar lines shine through a fug of distortion, and on the nostalgic new wave synths and pulsing drum loops of You Gotta Feel It. For the most part, however, this is Drew at his most meditative; no bad thing, since beneath the driving rhythms and walls of echoing guitar, he possesses a songwriting ability sometimes drowned out on BSS releases. [Sam Wiseman]