Friday, March 30, 2007

Daphne Loves Derby – Good Night, Witness Light

Band: Daphne Loves Derby
Album: Good Night, Witness Light
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Label: Outlook Music

As enjoyable as young bands are, with their whit about broken relationships, there comes a time in the life of every band, when they are expected to mature. The real challenge for Daphne Loves Derby is to not only grow and mature their sound, but they having the daunting task of escaping the umbrella of Death Cab for Cutie, to whom they are often referenced. I might be ironic if I were to say that Good Night, Witness Light, marks the beginning of a mature era for this remarkably young band, but I believe in all honesty that this is an important step forward.

The opening track “Are Two Chords Enough, Dear?” has an interesting and slightly eerie sound to it. It’s intentional pacing and progression marks the first hint of maturity to be found on the album. It builds slowly, but fades prematurely and in comes “Stranger, You and I.” “Stranger” is immediately lovable as it showcases Kenny Choi’s soft and honest voice. The airy gentle rock creates an uplifting an encouraging sound, not only for the listener but also for the album.

The CD is, unfortunately, not without its flaws. “No One is Convinced” and “Miniature Christmas Tree” are the pop-rock black sheep of the album. While they are both enjoyable, essentially pop-rock done right, they represent a genre that is fading and stale. Together, they detract from the overall intelligent sound of the album, which is an important progression for Daphne Loves Derby.

While on the subject of sore thumbs, it would be regrettable to leave out “Marching Band Intro,” which is precisely what the title suggests. The song is merely a marching band cadence, which builds towards and runs perfectly into “That’s Our Hero Shot.” This song continues the marching band sound, adding in horns that you’ve probably heard at a high school football game. Soon, however, the marching band is whisked out of the stands and they are replaced by the true soul of “Hero Shot.” This conscientious tune, like many other tracks here tackles issues of change and progression, oddly representative of the CD.

“Cue the Sun” is a slow acoustic ballad that represents the softer side of the album. It is most reminiscent of their first EP. “Love and Mercy” showcases Jason Call’s skills on the bass as it opens with a driving bass line. “Hello Color Red” is overall very peppy and sunny and thus very endearing.

Finally “How’s It Going To End?” finishes the release on virtually the same pensive and meaningful note that “Are Two Chords Enough, Dear?” began it with. Good Night, Witness Light is certainly a worthwhile listen if you’ve been a fan of Daphne Loves Derby in the past or if you’ve been in search of some heartwarming melodic rock lately. They haven’t quite yet reached their full potential, but they’ve certainly got their foot in the door and I look forward to hearing more from them as they continue to mature and refine their sound.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Commenting my own post, heh.

I didn't want to come right out and say it in the review, but I'd like to take this time to express my love for "Stranger, You and I"