DIAMOND RINGS plays the Virgin Mobile Mod Club November 29. See listing. Rating: NNN
On Free Dimensional, John O'Regan attempts to bring his homemade outsider-pop to a larger audience. Judging by the considerable push he's getting from Astralwerks, these songs will be heard by more ears than his previous efforts. Of course, the wild viral success of the adorable video for 2009's All Yr Songs has already brought him considerable indie fame, but O'Regan's been clear that he's aiming to win over mainstream listeners.
The production is much bigger, and his songwriting more assertive and hook-heavy. Unfortunately, the awkward charm and intimacy of his early efforts are missed. His goofier tendencies, though still present, aren't nearly as endearing. Things start to gel on the less overtly dance-pop tracks. When the electric guitars come closer to the foreground and O'Regan throws himself into a big chorus, he sounds like the pop star he's trying to invent.
Top track: Runaway Love