Joe Darbyshire - That Was the Summer EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: Summer 2007
Amongst the recent surge of self-produced, one-man electro acts, it's sometimes difficult to sift through them all and decide what's worth listening to. With his debut EP, entitled That Was the Summer, Joe Darbyshire attempts to differentiate himself from the masses.
The opening track, “Barriers,” doesn't go far in achieving this target, at least in the verses, with a dreary vocal melody and uninteresting lyrics. However, this is largely resurrected in the chorus, with a catchy hook and more interesting vocals, though there is nothing to set Darbyshire apart here.
Following on is “All I Ever Wanted” with its better lyrics and vocal melody bringing a more interesting dynamic to the track, though it lacks the kind of hook which made “Barriers” successful as a song.
The third song is a competent cover of Fountains of Wayne's popular song “Hackensack,” but it didn't really leave much of an impression on me and maybe even detracted from the showcase of Joe's own writing talents on this EP.
“Baby,” the fourth track, is catchy from the beginning, with another catchy pop hook. These hooks seem to be something that Darbyshire can do admirably well when he puts his mind to it and the way in which he has formed this song makes it a very viable and fun pop song and the best on the EP.
You may expect something special from a track subtitled “Something Special,” but track five, “Celebrity,” doesn't live up to this billing. With that said, it's still a perfectly passable song which adds to the EP, but the bass has been voiced wrongly and some keyboard bits which appear over the top of the melody do not keep to the best of time. I guess that that's the price you have to pay for home-production, though he manages to keep the sound clean and clear, although that's a lot simpler when using digital instruments and sequencing.
In trying to emulate the sound and success of fellow Brit Calvin Harris and many electro pop acts before him, Joe Darbyshire has sacrificed much of his creativity score, though the final track on the EP, “Wasted Youth,” is the most original and provides a strong finish to the record.
As with many similar acts, the music is hardly timeless, but it provides a somewhat short-lived shot of fun and fancy into everyday music appreciation and the EP is definitely worth a listen if this is the kind of thing that you think would take your fancy.
Your writing style is decent, but I thought there were too many paragraphs (probably because of the 'song-by-song' review style). You probably could have combined a couple of paragraphs or something. It was pretty good apart from that though.
Yeah, I agree with Lew to some extent, good review but you could have joined some of those paragraphs together, paragraphd 2-5 in particular. That's just a little niggle though, not too much to worry about.
The paragraph where you wrote about the production quality was interesting, so just have a couple more of those types of things with specific references to songs sprinkled throughout, eg. you could have combined paragraphs 2-3 and just talked a little bit more vaguely about the lyrics and vocals.