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This Delicate Thing We've Made (2 CDS)

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 21, 2007
$43.07 $4.68

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Darren Hayes is not only one of the finest (if not most underrated) singers and songwriters of our generation, he is also a master of reinvention. 'This Delicate Thing We've Made' is released on Hayes' own label, Powdered Sugar, and is the record he has wanted to make for years. Now he is his own boss, he's doing everything his own way. Bizarrely, it's the most commercial-sounding thing he's ever done. His old record label, Columbia, must be kicking themselves.

The album is a double-disc pop opus. It is a deeply felt, moving, and joyous celebration of life and of pop music. Though the tracks vary in style and genre, often deliberately sequenced so as to draw attention to their differences ("Setting Sun" followed by "A Hundred Challenging Things" is one of the most dramatic changes of mood I've ever heard), together they form a whole that is one of the most enjoyable and one of the most intelligent pop albums of the last decade.

It seems inspired by, and certainly deserves to be regarded alongside, albums such as Madonna's 'Ray of Light', U2's 'Achtung Baby', Prince's 'LoveSexy', and Peter Gabriel's 'So'. There are musical nods to these artists, and others.

In terms of style, there is pure pop celebration here, in the form of songs like "Listen All You People", "Tuning of Violins" and the first single "On the Verge..." "Casey" proves that melancholy, yearning lyrics don't have to be stuck on ballads, but can be sung over up-tempo synth-pop to heart-wrenching effect. In tracks like "Bombs Up in My Face" and "Me, Myself and (I)" Hayes is channeling Prince at his funkiest best.

To be honest, any 11 of the tracks could have been released as an album, and would have made a great record. But by giving himself room to explore musical avenues, develop his themes, and (dare one say it) nudge the whole thing towards being a concept record. Hayes has managed to craft an album of intricate narratives and personal confessions that simultaneously document his arrival at peace within himself. He has created something that really demands to be listened to, that hooks you and completely seduces you.

The UK's NME Magazine called him a genius. They weren't wrong.

Ex-Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes stretches his legs a bit on his third solo release, adding a bit of bombast to the radio-friendly boogie. With song titles like "How to Build a Time Machine" and "Waking the Monster" (about a mad professor building a creature with a "phonographic needle and a stereo heart"), it seems Hayes is reaching for more than a simple pop album, and the double-CD length belies the need to say more than you can squeeze into a three-minute radio single. The result is practically a dance-pop concept album, sprawling without quite being epic, occasionally straying into conversational, train-of-thought lyrics that vaguely recall an R. Kelly "Closet" episode. While the single, "On the Verge of Something Wonderful," delivers a catchy chorus over tightly packed production, This Delicate Thing We've Made lacks the kind of monster jams that elevate an album like Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds out of the dance-pop pack and into the stratosphere. Still, Darren Hayes delivers enough variety and soulfulness to keep the listener hanging on through 25 tracks to see what happens next--in the era of 10-second ringtones and downloadable singles, that's no small feat.--Ben Heege

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. A Fear Of Fallling Under
  2. Who Would Have Thought
  3. Waking the Monster
  4. How To Build a Time Machine
  5. Casey
  6. Step Into the Light
  7. Sing To Me
  8. A Conversation With God
  9. The Sun Is Always Blinding Me
  10. Listen All You People
  11. The Only One
  12. Bombs Up In My Face
  13. The Great Big Disconnect

Disc: 2

  1. The Future Holds a Lion's Heart
  2. On the Verge Of Something Wonderful
  3. Neverland
  4. Walk Away
  5. Maybe
  6. Me, Myself And (I)
  7. Lucky Town
  8. I Just Want You To Love Me
  9. Setting Sun
  10. A Hundred Challenging Things a Boy Can Do
  11. Words
  12. The Tuning Of Violins

Product details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • ASIN: B000SUKPR0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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on September 5, 2007
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on August 25, 2007
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on August 20, 2007
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