Review: The Dark Romantics – Heartbreaker

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Label: Lujo Records

Released: September 9, 2008

In the early 80s, Wall of Voodoo made some dark, moody and strangely captivating music out of a peculiar meeting of post-punk, synth pop and the roots of rock n roll. On Heartbreaker, the Dark Romantics find themselves at the same point where these influences flow together and they make music that is deliberately at odds with itself, nervous, pleading vocals and trebly guitar or stark piano poking through smooth synth textures.

It is an album that comes together only to pull itself apart into an unsettled restlessness. “The Death of You” is part synth pop and part “Ghostriders in the Sky,” like a post-Armageddon cowboy song. “Never Been Loved” is reminiscent of “Careless Whispers” (yeah, the Wham song) only with a tangible madness and even the slick disco of the chorus doesn’t diminish its humanity. The album’s darkness grows into the coldness of the title track which knocks on Nick Cave door to insanity.

These songs believe that joy exists, but only in someone else’s world. They are love songs for the unloved, breakup songs for those with no one to break with. Heartbreaker is for the broken heart that never had the opportunity to fully love. The discord yearns for beauty in a way that is, as the band name itself explains, quite romantic and entirely dark.

“Hush Your Mouth” mp3

“Let’s Ride” mp3

Ratings
Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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