Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cooked and hooked like a junkie

Darius Danesh (pictured here on a single cover, since he seems dead set on choosing the worst possible photos for his album covers, or at least the first one), more commonly known as Darius, took third during the first season of Pop Idol. However, that wasn't his first experience with musical reality TV shows; he first brush with fame came from his appearance on the show Popstars, where his hairstyle and rendition of "Baby One More Time" made him a national laughingstock. However, when he reappeared (sporting a much better haircut and without his dodgy mustache) on the UK's radar during Pop Idol, he did much better, taking third. He's often accused of making bland, middle-of-the-road pop, but I think he has actually released some of the most fun and poppy (albeit cheesy) singles to come out of the UK. I tend to prefer upbeat songs to ballads, so the selections today will avoid Darius's ballads (which is maybe odd, since "Live Twice" was probably his most "credible" hit).

Rushes--probably my favorite Darius track. So upbeat, so catchy, and so fun! I loved this track from the moment I heard it, and still can't understand why people dislike his music so much--this is supposedly boring? Ah well, we each have our own tastes, I suppose.

Dive In--the other contender for best Darius song, and the song that should have been his fourth single, instead of "Girl in the Moon." More upbeat, catchy pop (and yes, Darius uses acoustic guitars, but all acoustic guitars do not = bad music!)

How Do You Like It?--Darius's second album was an attempt to have a maturer sound--and maturity, in pop, often seems to mean less good. However, it's still worth owning, especially since many of the best tracks were never released as singles. The lyrics to this song--well, maybe we should just ignore them (I think the title's pretty self-explanatory); "How Do You Like It?" is more like Darius's first album (and doesn't have the somewhat overbearing piano of decent second album first single "Kinda Love") and proved to me that I didn't really care what a song was about, so long as it sounded good.

Love to Love--Darius goes rock--ish. With surprisingly good results. There are many people who don't like this track, but I think it's just as catchy as any pop song--and, if rock elements are shamelessly and cheaply stolen in the service of making catchy pop, I don't really mind.

Bootylicious/Faith--If you already don't like Darius, you probably won't think much of his decision to cover a Destiny's Child song and dub himself "bootylicious." And yes, "Faith" is a cover of the George Michael song (wow, two George Michael references in two days! Maybe I should actually listen to some more of his songs, if he's going to keep appearing this frequently). There's somewhat of an annoying applause-filled gap in the middle because it was recorded live, but this track was a B-side, so it's of decent quality for a live track. I really love the idea of this cover, and though I think it would've sounded better in studio, it was probably fun to watch live. Not hugely crazy about the actual track, but since it's not on either album, I thought I'd include it for some variety and an attempt--however weak--at rarity.

To buy Darius's music, you can go here for physical CD's and here for digital tracks (his first album was "Dive In" and his second was "Live Twice").

Next up: onto American Idol (I've yet to hear really phenomenal tracks from any other Pop Idol finalists; if you know of some, I'd love to hear about them)--no real rarities tomorrow (you'll probably have heard all the tracks), but a necessary step in our Idol journey--and it'll get more interesting later, I promise (/hope)!


Jane T said...

Darius has an official myspace at last. See all the videos for the singles and hear 4 audio tracks.

There are also some nice D songs on this unofficial myspace

Poster Girl said...

Woohoo! More Darius fans :) There don't seem to be very many in the blogging world, but I really love his music (in fact, I have him to "blame" for introducing me to UK pop). I'm glad he has an official MySpace; hopefully it will be updated more than the official site (which is still promoting his old November stint in Chicago). Saw the movie version of Chicago the other day and couldn't help wondering about him on stage--he's gotten pretty good reviews, I think?

Anonymous said...

can you tell me from whre can i download mercury rising performed by darius danesh? my address is

Thank you!