Kevin Drew Darlings

Kevin Drew Darlings
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Broken Social Scene, and by extension Kevin Drew, are defined by their grandeur. Be it in sound or physical band size, the on-and-off band's music carries a signature sound of statement-making, emotional fist-pumping anthems. It's what made the Toronto collective so triumphant a decade ago and still heralded today, but leader Drew is now learning to scale things back a little.

On Darlings, Drew's second solo effort following 2007's Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew's Spirited If…, we find some of Drew's clearest, most direct songs yet. Distortion is put aside for more crystalline vocals and instruments are pared down to their most simple form, creating a sense of intimacy between Drew and listener. He's no longer trying to prove things with a bang; he wants to pull you in and convey his messages with a bone-chilling whisper.

This isn't to say Drew has lost his emotional vigour, either. Tracks like lead single "Good Sex" and highlight "You In Your Were" carry the same heart-tugging weight as any You Forgot It In People cut. Where Darlings shows growth and change is in Drew's fine-tuning of his illustrious sound. And though some songs fall short of memorable, such as the lull of "My God," Darlings is, overall, a great first step towards something possibly different for Drew. It's a transition that longtime fans will surely want to follow along with.

Read a Q&A with Kevin Drew here. (Arts & Crafts)