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Album Review

Dan Black was one of the main proponents of the “wonky pop” scene in late 2000s, that is, unabashedly “pop” but with some brains and musical invention, and not just slavish re-creations of current musical trends designed to get your songs in the charts. His early singles (which are collected here on his debut album) were strutting, ultra-hooky songs that mixed up hip-hop, rock, funk, and pop into a very appealing sound fronted by Black’s smooth and insistent vocals. “Yours” and “Alone” are both very inventive tracks, and easy-to-digest songs that fans of radio pop could get into, "Symphonies," which is his high point as an artist so far, slows things down and wraps Black’s voice in a beautiful string sample, and shows he can deliver some real emotion. In other words, Black’s singles are a perfect manifestation of wonky pop. ((Un)) works almost as well. The singles are the best tracks, but there is plenty of competition. The rocking, dancefloor filler "Pump My Pumps," the stuttering, fake hip-hop jam "I Love Life," and the fun and huge-sounding "U + Me =" all come very close to dethroning the previously released singles for top honors. Black’s arrangements are always fresh-sounding, never too glossy, and filled with surprising little touches that let you know you are in the hands of a whiz kid, not just a pop singer. ((Un)) is a very impressive first record that shows tons of promise. If Black can keep the right amount of wonky in his pop, he could do something truly wonderful (like an album full of songs as good as "Symphonies.")


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

One of the vanguard artists in the U.K.'s genre-swirling wonky pop movement, Dan Black brought his combination of pop, rock, dance, and hip-hop flavors to light in 2008 with his hit single "Yours." After spending four years playing guitar in the alt-rock band the Servant, Black left London for Paris. The 2008 solo track "HYPNTZ" -- a mix of the lyrics from the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" with a sample of Rihanna's "Umbrella" underneath -- announced his return home. The funky single "Alone" became...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Dan Black

Un, Dan Black
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Electronic
  • Released: 01 January 2009

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