Beneath The Shining Water
Dare to me are a classic AOR band. Their debut album Out Of The Silence is an all time classic – especially as far as British AOR goes. |
The follow-up Blood From Stone was a stab at arena style harder rock, but remained very enjoyable - spoilt only by a muddy production.
On Calm Before The Storm the guys returned to a mellower tone and was popular among fans. The last album changed direction yet again. Belief was more diverse than previous outings, touching on Celtic influences and more traditional tones, while being more stripped back than the normally multi-layered production.
Frontman, writer, vocalist and instrumentalist Darren Wharton has always painted a lush and vivid canvas with his deep and reflective lyrics and his unmistakably haunting musical layers.
Beneath The Shining Water is no different – it again features multi-layers of lush keyboard and guitar passages and further layers of vocal melodies and accompanying harmonies.
The album is richly produced, immaculately mixed and sounds every bit like a traditional Dare album.
Style wise it mixes the laid back Celtic tone of Belief with the more straight ahead AOR of Calm Before The Storm. Everything an avid Dare fan could ask for – with one notable exception – truly memorable songs.
I am still enjoying the album, so I don't want to appear too harsh, but the individual songs of Beneath The Shining Water just don't have enough individual personality. There is almost no differentiating between them.
Sea Of Roses is a solid opening track, but with a worrying ease, you will find yourself up to track 5 – the very personal U2 styled The Battles That You've Won without blinking.
There just aren't enough dominant choruses on offer to be able to separate what tracks you are listening to. In addition to that all10 tracks on the album are of the same pace and tempo. This is an album of almost identical tracks. So it's an easy album to like, but also an easy album to get lost in.
There are places where the songs sound as if they are just about to break out into a big chorus or pace changing bridge, but that never happens.
And that's a disappointing aspect to an otherwise very smooth album.
It's just too slow and too much the same – and given the slow pace and laid back ballad feel, it's not an album to listen to when wanting to get fired up.
I have rated all previous Dare albums very highly and continue to enjoy those releases. However even though the quality of this album is unquestioned, I don't rate it as highly as any of the other albums as I already have this album in the form of Calm Before The Storm and Belief.
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