Volume 94, Issue 60
Wednesday, January 10, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
UK's Hefner loves the city
Stranger in the Morning
Twisted Circle Records
Leonard Cohen is a great poet. But his hometown Montreal doesn't have the large demand for Cohen impersonators that Vegas has for Elvis impersonators.
Ontario native David Deacon's music reeks of Leonard Cohen and Deacon doesn't bother hiding this very obvious influence. Stranger in the Morning sounds like Leonard Cohen's The Future, from its overproduction to its lyrics, to Deacon's lack of a singing voice. Imitating Cohen isn't exactly a bad thing, but it is difficult to do. Not surprisingly, Deacon's best poetry on the record amount to as much as Cohen's worst.
His backing band, The Word, is both distracting and necessary at the same time. Without the lush sound, one would be hard-pressed to sit through 45 minutes of Deacon's half-sung, half-spoken delivery. Finally, the background vocals, although better than Deacon's own, sound rather dated and cliched.
Stranger in the Morning is an unimpressive record. The songs are far from perfect, but would likely sound much better if sung by Marianne Faithful. For the obscure Deacon, Stranger in the Morning proves he will likely be a stranger in the night as well.
We Love The CityToo Pure
Formed in 1992 by two mates in art school, Hefner personifies the typical European indie pop band which continues to drive the musical world across the Atlantic.
To this end, Hefner both in form and sound follow one of the driving forces behind Brit pop; the now middle-aged, Blur. Lead singer Darren Hayman sings romantic tales of urban life, love and lust that are much in the same vein of Damon Albarn, whose quirky, sarcastic character sketches of London life was the driving force of a nation's music just six years ago.
"We Love The City" and "The Greater London Radio" are charming tales of life, while "The Greedy Ugly People" and "The Day That Thatcher Dies" brims with the 'us vs. them' attitude of youth.
But Hayman and Hefner are at their best with their tales of romance and desire that playfully waltz the line between poppy innocence and the sultry, steamy language we save for the bedroom.
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