January í99

By Claudio Sossi

A one-man band shrouded in somewhat anonymity, Darinís Solitarium is a great dose of tuneful pop/rock thatís hard to ignore.

There are a lot of great things at work here, especially the arranging and Darinís ability to play, well, just about anything. The tunes here are lush with accents flying in from all over, making for some really memorable moments.

Sermon On Mars is one such moment. Here, Darin favors a lazy vocal over a marching rock beat with a lead guitar injected into an already evocative chorus. Thereís even a harmonica break that takes the listener by surprise. Then thereís the driving yet delicate drumming that accompanies the lovely Big Pink Glasses and the country leads that infiltrate Stuck In A Hole. Thereís no shortage of great ideas here.

The aural chaos of the rowdy Funky Flying Chair features not only some outstanding drums and guitar, but also Darinís vocal. His delivery is consistently good throughout Solitarium and portrays some great pop instincts. The way his vocal carries the melody on Sheís Better than Me is a highlight as is the complete believability he conveys in the solemn You Must Be Wondering, perhaps the prettiest track here.

Melody is what Solitarium is all about, though, and Darin supplies it to the fullest. The charging melody of Donít Look at Me is irresistible and the looser 15 Minutes is classic pop all the way. It all comes together on the superb So You Think, featuring a lovely guitar pattern and a chorus that takes off thanks to its great harmonies.

Solitarium is a wonderful CD throughout that demands to be heard. The talent here is quite impressive Ė so much that if anyone tells you theyíve never heard of Darin you can confidently assure them that they will.