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Symphony or Damn

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Album Review

Falling halfway between the modern R&B of Introducing the Hardline and the extravagant Neither Fish nor Flesh, Symphony or Damn is Terence Trent D'Arby's most ambitious album yet. It's also his best, because it takes the fine songwriting of his debut and melds it to the sonic excesses of Fish. Sure, some of it is embarrassing (it's hard not to cringe during the "Welcome to My Monasteryo" declaration at the beginning of the album), but more often than not, D'Arby's experimentations succeed, and succeed grandly, at that.


Born: 15 March 1962 in Manhattan, New York, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Terence Trent d'Arby emerged in 1987 amid a storm of publicity. Claiming his debut record was the best since Sgt. Pepper, his brash arrogance captured headlines throughout the U.K., eventually winding their way back to America -- which, ironically, is the exact opposite of how d'Arby conducted his career. During the early '80s, d'Arby was a soldier for the United States Army. While posted in Germany, he joined a funk band called Touch, which marked the beginning of his musical career. After leaving...
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Symphony or Damn, Terence Trent D'Arby
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