Spin Me Right Round: D'Arby's Own Private 'Symphony'

Friday, January 16, 2009

So what if Terence Trent D'Arby pissed some people off by claiming he was better than The Beatles? It wasn't like he was awful. Or that his 1987 debut album, The Hardline According To...was complete musical garbage. In fact, Terence was quite the artist and The Hardline remains to be one of the best albums of the 80's, not to mention one that kicked off the neo-soul movement. Long before Kanye West got his ego on, Mr. D'Arby managed to get folks upset with his narcissistic nature. The outcome of that had Terence suffering on the charts instead of being praised. Aside from being misunderstood, Terence released some exciting and edgy material that radiated and crossed boundaries. After going left field for 1989's Neither Fish Nor Flesh, Terence went back to the formula for The Hardline, for 1993's Symphony Or Damn...well, almost. Terence's third coming is indeed an intricate and eclectic collection of tunes that are a mix between soul, Blues and hard rock and boy oh boy is it FUN. The brash seductive nature of "She Kissed Me" knocks you three ways while "Do You Love Me Like You Do" is caffeinated hip-hop meets doo-wop. Terence's gruff soulful croon layer nicely over rock numbers like the skittish shot of "Baby Let Me Share My Love" and psychedelic sway"Succumb To Me". Soul songstress, Des'ree joins Terence on the kin to "Sign Your Name", "Delicate" which is a wonderfully crafted mellow mid-tempo. The album is basically big in sound and in ideal with tracks like the horn blasts of "Neon Messiah" and the grungy beach blanket bop of "Penelope Please" just literally overtaking your ears. It's quite a shame that Terence (or rather now he goes by Sananda Maitreya) and his boastful musical grandeur couldn't achieve higher than his debut album because on album number three, Terence evolves into something that is truly artistic and fabulously out of bounds.

Rating: 9.2/10

What's with the cane?....Des'ree's hand movements were always mesmerizing, remember the "You Gotta Be" video?....It seems every early 90's video used that waterfall effect....Butterflies *squee!*

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