Thursday, March 27, 2008

Touching You, Touching Me

It’s sad that The Darkness split up. They were a great British rock band
with good songs and nice tongue-in-cheek image and attitude. When their debut album Permission to Land (2003) came out I heard the hit singles on the radio, saw the videos on TV and I liked all that stuff. It’s really hard not to smile when you hear a song like I Believe in a Thing Called Love. That kind of music should really be played more on the radio! Fun and happy music is something that is completely underrated these days.

It was my friend who encouraged me to listen to more of The Darkness. I listened to the debut album and it felt good. It was a bit heavier kind of music than what I tend to listen to, but the good melodies and Justin Hawkins’s unique singing voice helped me to get into it. The singles such as Get Your Hands off My Woman and Love Is Only a Feeling highlight the album.

The second album was even better. One Way Ticket to Hell… And Back (2006) was a bit lighter and definitely more melody-centered than its predecessor. One Way Ticket, Is It Just Me?, and Dinner Lady Arms are excellent songs. Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time is stunningly beautiful. In fact, everything about this album is excellent. Justin Hawkins captures a plenty of emotion in these songs. It’s really amazing how beautifully he utilizes his entire vocal range and sense of dynamics.

The amazing Hazel Eyes is worth mentioning, and so is Bald (gorgeus stuff!). Allman Brothers-like guitars and huge layered background vocals give this album lots of Queen feel (check out the harmonies on Blind Man – they’ll surely give you chills!). This album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker (which seems totally obvious now – especially given that I’ve recently been listening quite a lot to The Cars…). I’m not a big lyrics person, but I know these songs also have fun and witty lyrics.

All in all, The Darkness created some awesome melodic hard rock with nice sentimentality. Their music is capable of making anyone smile. Just listen to those songs (and perhaps watch the music video for Girlfriend) and it’ll make your day!

Justin Hawkins left the band but the remaining members of The Darkness continue making music as Stone Gods. I guess I could check out their stuff sometime.

The Darkness at MySpace
Stone Gods Website


Anonymous said...

I loved the Darkness! I'd read about them in the UK press for a while, WAY before they were picked up here in the USA....i loved the spirit and just the sheer fun they seemed to bring back, much like some of Andrew W.K.'s stuff.....i was psyched when they came to the USA to tour, so when they were scheduled to play here in Boston, and with the MIGHTY Wildhearts opening, I had to be there and was not let down....Justin Hawkins is a natural, hammy as hell, and a pretty dang capable guitarist as well....i wonder if he'll still have 'it' when he gets himself going again......Jim

Melody Freak said...

Thanks for the comment Jim!

The Darkness played here in Finland probably a couple of times. I could've gone to see them when One Way Ticket had come out. It was a summer festival (don't really like those) and far away, so I decided not to go. That was a dumb decision. I'm happy, though, that my friend, who is a huge Darkness fan, got to see them then. It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Let's hope that Justin will do solo tours in the future! I'd love to see him.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thanx luv, for mentioning me there. It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The only comlaint that I have about the gig in Joensuu is, that it didn't go on forever. God, if I could still be there, dancing the eternity away with the Darkness...

Melody Freak said...

Varsågod, pal. Seuraavalle keikalle mennään yhdessä. Eiköhän Justin saa jonkinlaisen kiertueen pystyyn ennemmin tai myöhemmin..