Darker My Love - Alive As You Are

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-07-26

The British rock croon hasn't seen a favourable light in quite some time, and yet, as if from nowhere, Darker My Love - native of L.A - have picked up the sound, coming across as a mixture between Television and The Beatles. After an under-the-radar sophomore album they must be hoping that Alive As You Are will see them push further forward.

Already mentioned is the slightly retro and British feel to this album. It's a psychedelic effort, but not the kind which strays into an abyss of noise or the kind of drug-addled nonsense which sometimes comes with such a tag. It's hazy pop, steady tempos, gurgling synth and hooky, deadpan lyrics. '18th Century Street Shuffle' is an excellent growling track, while everything on 'A Lovely Game' shines despite the claim that "It can bring all sorts of doubt". If you enjoy the music of The Doors but not Jim Morrison's poetic adventures then this is for you. Judging on a first listen basis, it might seem there is little to go back for, but if you do you will be rewarded as the songs seep into your skin, you just have to rub them in a little yourself. One setback for the album as a whole, however, is that the lyrics can be a little too flat and a little too dreary.

As far as the future goes, only those in possession of time machines will know if Darker My Love will ever break into the mainstream consciousness by reviving a retro sound (The Black Keys and Band of Horses being the most recent and notable success stories). What is certain is that this album should gain them a solid following, and perhaps with a shake up in the tempo department and some emotional depth they may soon deliver a modern great with a classic sound.

Nathan Fidler

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