Oct 24, 2012 Web Exclusive
It all goes wrong so quickly. Diamond Rings’ (otherwise known as Canadian musician John O’Regan) sophomore album Free Dimensional opens with a wall of melodramatic synths and drum machines. It’s as good an introduction as any—the beginning soundtrack to a night filled with dance floor debauchery, surrounded by a few friends bent on not taking the whole affair too seriously. But somewhere through the first song “Everything Speaks,” the artifice wears thin. Grab a Red Bull, you’ve still got nine and a half tracks to endure of possibly the most irredeemably goofy dance music 2012 has to offer.
The ingredients that compose Free Dimensional aren’t rotten. Any glam fan who doesn’t name Ziggy Stardust as their favorite extraterrestrial should have their eyeliner revoked. And let’s face it—we’ve all had a moment when no one understands us like Depeche Mode. But despite working in a subgenre known more for feeling than intellect, O’Regan has wrung any rennet of original thought from his work. A line must be drawn. How about at gender politics crammed into grade-school lyrics such as “I was taught to know the difference/in-between boy and girl names,” clumsy rap choruses, and romantic metaphors involving rainbows?
If this somehow still manages to be the kind of thing that’ll get you out on the dance floor, you still have to survive instrumentals that plod rather than thrill, songs that meander rather than aim, and a slew of lazy sing-speech. But hey, look on the bright side; anything can be buzzy if you turn it up loud enough. (www.diamondringsmusic.com)
Author rating: 3.5/10
Average reader rating: 7/10