THOMAS D'ARCY plays the Horseshoe on Saturday (February 9). See listing. Rating: NNN
Thomas D'Arcy has released a few albums of catchy, bouncy electro-pop under the name Small Sins. But despite an ear for crisp production and memorable hooks, he's never attained the success he seems to be reaching for. So he's shed the Small Sins name on What We Want, his first proper "solo" record.
D'Arcy still has an enviable knack for witty lyrics and elegant songcraft. Many songs slowly build to graceful crescendos. The album gets mixing help from heavy hitters Alexandre Bonenfant (Crystal Castles/METZ) and John McEntire (Broken Social Scene/Tortoise), which helps D'Arcy nail that sense of drama. But he's also sacrificed the immediacy and quirkiness of Small Sins for a more "serious" sound.
Credit! manages to stay musically upbeat while offering a cautionary tale about corruption in the music industry, but that wearied cynicism often translates into slow, moody ballads that aren't his forte.
Top track: Credit!