You could easily be forgiven for thinking that Darwin Deez was a flash in the pan due to his lack of activity last year. But no, whilst we might all have delighted in his disappearance, he was in fact recording a whole new collection of tunes that would just reinforce the question, what exactly is the point of him? Back in 2010, he arrived with his self-titled debut, which at best contained some innocuous, happy -go- lucky pop songs, but that is about as complimentary as it gets. These were the kind of tunes that were ready made for indie dance floors across the country and that would undoubtedly enrage hipsters. But with his sophomore effort, the formula has weakened even further and you are left wondering just exactly where he is heading.
In the build up to this release, Deez cited Red Hot Chili Peppers as a major influence during the recording sessions. Now just stop there for a second. If the title of your album is “Songs For Imaginative People” (an atrocious name as it goes), and you associate it with a past- it dad rock act that has not released a decent effort since 1991, then we can only expect this record to be a less than remarkable ride. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as opener “(800) Human” makes for a satisfying start, albeit a little dated. And then come the disasters. “You Can’t Be My Girl” is a tepid anti-ballad with a chorus repeated far too often over some generic, clean- sounding guitars, whilst “Moonlit” is like a painful amalgamation of Duran Duran and Prince. Worse still, there is plenty of faux sincerity on display if the likes of “Alice” and “Redshift” are anything to go by. These are the types of tunes that appear to lack the semi-charm that came with his earlier singles, e.g. “Radar Detector” and “DNA”. There is, however, a saving grace to be found in “Free (The Editorial Me)”, a fuzzy lo-fi number accompanied by a chorus aspiring to the heights of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”, though the last 90 seconds could easily be chopped due to some continuous babbling. Sadly, that is about as exciting as it gets, with the closing track, the synth-led “Chelsea’s Hotel” becoming the tipping point for this excruciatingly insipid journey.
You do have to feel a little sorry for Darwin Smith (that’s his real name, fact fans). He seems to have a wealth of ideas but always fails to execute them, resulting in a clusterfuck of an album. It’s even more of a worry for his career, as this contains no potential future hit singles, with uninspiring pop songs that are lacking in the hook department. For those who are curious about this release, please ignore the misleading title. This really is about as unimaginative as music can get.