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DANIEL JOHNS

daniel

Talk
EMI

So, you’ve probably heard by now that ex-Silverchair darling Daniel Johns is back. Starting with the painfully obvious, this is not a Silverchair record. It is about as far from the ’90s grunge scene as Seattle is from Sydney (it’s pretty far). The drone of fuzzed guitars is instead replaced with glitchy keys and pulsating beats. This was never a surprise, though, as Johns has publicly distanced himself from his former project for quite some time.

The 15-track album is full of self-analysing lyrics that offer insights into Johns’ predisposition. Preach sees Johns boldly declaring that ‘I dance to my own beat’, but it’s only partially true. Talk revels in the sounds of quality releases from R&B contemporaries such as D’Angelo and James Blake, and yet this is its ultimate downfall. Where these musicians were lauded for their innovative flair, Talk is, simply put, a collection of other artists’ styles. Still, despite its familiarity, the vocals are a standout, and complemented by the sleek production, reach great heights. Leaping from his signature timbre to Prince-esque falsetto, Johns commands elaborate soundscapes with his best asset: his voice.

Talk gets quite a few things right, but there’s an equal amount of things it doesn’t. For a finely tuned, chic pop album, it is worthy of at least a few spins.

★★★

SARAH BASFORD