Daphne Loves Derby - Good Night, Witness Light
Release Date: 3/27/2007
Record Label: Outlook Records
With bands such as Copeland, Mae, and Jack’s Mannequin paving the way, there seems to be a bright (dare I say, mainstream?) future for piano heavy pop rock. However it’s all too easy for bands in this vein to fall into a very tricky trap of putting the listener to sleep instead of keeping their attention. Daphne Loves Derby is a perfect example of how the line between delicacy and lethargy has worn thin.
For a while Daphne held the number one spot on Purevolume’s Unsigned Artist Rankings till they were signed to Baltimore Ravens star Trevor Pryce’s Outlook Records. Their popularity on purevolume helped assure them a solid fan-base with the release of 2005’s ‘On The Strength of All Convinced’. The album was met with mixed reviews and an overall mediocre response with critics citing the bands lack of energy and derivative influences.
‘On Good Night Witness Light’, the band manages to once again bore the listener with an uninspired, yet solid collection of 13 tracks. The smooth vocal harmonies compliment the slow-tempo songs quite nicely at times, but the majority of the album blends together to form a flat and lazy train-wreck.
The :50 second intermission ‘Marching Band Intro’ features, yes you guessed it, a full marching band. While this peculiar item does stand out, it also comes off as a feeble attempt to be flexible and intriguing. The drums eventually patter out and it almost seems as if the band is going to change gears a bit with a Casket Lottery-esque opening bridge. Unfortunately they revert to their overused formula and the song is completely marginalized.
However there is some potential here. ‘To Struggle With Light Colors’ has a unique combination of horns and interesting lyrical content that reeks of fellow Washingtonians, This Providence. ‘Cue The Sun!’ even utilizes some acoustic guitar plucking and tambourine jangling halfway through.
Despite the creative usage towards the end, it seems Daphne Loves Derby have fallen short once again. They had the chance to standout, but ultimately failed due to lack of innovation. Hopefully for their next album they can put forth some more effort to catapult themselves into one of the more listenable bands in their increasingly popular genre.
i've been a fan of daphne for a while, and i gotta say the last album let me down a little. but the new song i've heard have really impressed me. 'cue the sun' is just amazing. i hope this album is better than you found it to be.
and after reading your review, its not bad. but i must say that you're ratings are extremely harsh. a 2.5 for creativity? and 3.5 for lyrics? i mean like a 6 or 7 is average, so you must be saying these are just incredibly horrible, which i cannot agree with.
um, did you listen to this album with headphones? there are a lot of things you may have missed. i'll admit, "Strength" is not the greatest album ever, and i did expect more from them on that album, but "Good Night" is more than i could have hoped for out of the band! everyone's talking about how they miss the old DLD, but they're right here on this album, just a little more (i hate to say it since it's overused) mature. they still have the same spunk in all of the songs. i thought "Strength" was too slow and it lost my attention too quickly, but i haven't been able to put "Good Night" away.
your ratings are quite harsh, i think. sure the marching band stuff could have been better, but Stuart Clay wrote, arranged, and performed that part! i don't know if you have ever arranged music like that, but it's pretty tough to do. and what's wrong with the lyrics? these are some of Kenny's best! and i'm not sure anyone should rate creativity anymore these days. almost everything has been done before, there are just some out there who do it better and for this particular genre, DLD does it the best.
oh, and i can see how Copeland would put people to sleep, i saw them live with DLD, the Hush Sound, and Jack's Mannequin, and i literally fell asleep! however, you can't lump Mae and Jack's Mannequin in with Copeland. they are completely different bands! if you're trying to tell me that Mae puts you to sleep, then you have no idea what "MAE" stands for and what their music is about. and Jack's, well, anyone will tell you that a Jack's show, no one is quiet, everyone is excited and probably dancing. that's my rant for the day.
I thought this album was surprisingly catchy. I wasn't a huge fan of their previous album because i thought the guitars were lacking some creativity, but this album is different. It's very relaxing. To the point that it puts me to sleep sometimes, but in a good way.