Norway’s Darling West look to Rumours era Mac for new album.
Opening with the title track is always a signal of intent and Norwegian band Darling West lay down the template for this album from the opening grooves of this commercial-sounding collection of polished songs. ‘Cosmos‘, the track, is a Stevie Nicks’ sounding West Coast vibe complete with shiny guitars and track two ‘Light Ahead‘ ups the ante with a glorious chorus sitting atop an early Eighties pop tune that must have featured somewhere in the Fleetwood Mac canon. ‘Still Here‘ is more restrained and gentle but the production soon steps in to give it a sheen it certainly didn’t need and by doing so detracts from the beauty of the vocals which are at once clear and strong. If anything the production gives the song a brittleness that undermines the song.
‘Old Man‘ is better with some exquisite strings complimenting Mari Kreken’s vocals and the delicate piano although it is but a step away from Clannad which is of course a step too far for this reviewer. It is a near run thing!
There’s much to enjoy here but there is a lack of any killer tunes, the chorus of ‘Light Ahead‘ aside which is a real earworm. Final track ‘Echoes‘ sums things up. A great vocal but slightly overproduced song that would sit perfectly well in any AOR playlist but perhaps not inspire more than a passing interest. Needs stronger songs please.