Album review: Darwin Deez’s “Songs for Imaginative People”

By Fiona Armstrong-Pavlik

Two and a half years after his debut album dropped, Darwin Deez has finally come out with new material. His first album, full of retro-quirky guitar riffs and witty lyrics, set the bar pretty high. Songs for Imaginative People, however, disappoints. Overall, this album would probably work better if it were only instrumentals.

(800) Human: The guitar riffs are nice, but Deez ruins the listening experience with his voice. I don’t remember it being this bad in the past, but it sounds like it’s cracking. A lot. The bursts of scream-like singing clash horrendously with the rest of the track.

You Can’t Be My Girl: Poppy guitar, but the cracking voice returns. I wonder if he could hear himself. I don’t know who made it okay for him to sing. The chorus is the best part; he just sings “you can’t be my girl” three times. His voice seems to do the least damage to my eardrums when there is the smallest range of notes involved.

Moonlit: Are those synth drums? Please no. Also, who said the synth was okay for this one? More shouty singing. Does he not know he isn’t a metal singer? Sounds pretty 80s, and not in a good way

No Love: For Deez, the minor tone is unusual. This track is a hodgepodge of guitar and synth melodies that don’t sit well with my ears. Talk-singing instead of shout-singing makes it comparably better. But is he singing about Microsoft Word?

Good to Lose: Sporadic falsetto. With lyrics like “sidekick to the sidekick to a sidekick / But I’m so sick of you minding when it’s my thing,” who could refuse? Me. I could. It sort of degenerates halfway through, so that’s interesting at least. There’s a bit of howling as well.

Alice: He sings about ponytails. It’s the least bad, but it’s still pretty bad. “You have monopolized cute” is a line that I might reuse, though.

Redshift: Odd R&B beat with cringe-inducing synth sounds. Is he trying to croon? Nope. The scream-singing returns in the chorus. Plus more howling!

Free (The Editorial Me): More screaming. Pretty unremarkable, considering the rest of the album.

All In The Wrist: There are synth drums. There are synth drums. There are synth drums. It is about preparing salads.

Chelsea’s Hotel: The music and lyrics sound mismatched, but that seems to be the norm for this album. But please don’t build hotels on people’s hearts. That sounds dangerous.

If you were already a Darwin Deez fan, you should probably pretend none of this happened and only listen to his first album. Best for: deaf people, fans of bad Radiohead.