Darren - Anything Is Possible

Martin Drury 31/10/2005

Rating: 3/5

No, don't fret your pretty little head. It's not another Will Young song about his torturous relationships with the man in the mirror. For a debut release this is quite simply superb. It does sound a bit like the sort of stuff that Darren's namesake, Darren Hayes might present to the world but mimicking accomplished performers is surely flattery by impersonation. Darren's voice is polished to perfection and sits so well on the water of light disco beats and funky rhythms that lingers underneath the vocals- an undercurrent bringing things to the surface.

Sexuality smoulders as passion escapes through vapours as Darren makes his first appearance on the world stage and manages, somehow, to steal the show from more seasoned performers. This album is a Radio 2 favourite in the making and it is a joy to listen to a man singing who doesn't think he has to impersonate James Blunt and use his voice to break glass. There's the faintest whiff of boy-band material on the album but that is no bad thing as, judging from his website photo, Darren will be as much of a hit with the chicks as he is with the chaps. The rawness of Darren's emotional expressions is touching, refreshing and stunning from a performer so young, so fragile, so new and so unknown.

This album is not so much a message announcing arrival as a fence post stabbed into the sodden earth below. It is Darren's mark upon Darren's territory. Welcome to the world according to Darren. Welcome to beautiful music played to perfection and listed to be everyone. Bravo, Darren, Bravo.