Darren Michelangelo Smith - Same Old Story

Being a Cambridge resident and living in the shadow of the University and all that's associated to it, it tends to make the people who actually live there (i.e. not the students) stick together. So when you find a local artist you generally what to big them up or at least add them as your "friend" in MySpace before you've even heard them. However, listening to Darren Michelangelo Smith (DMS) made me realise you can be loyal but also support a serious talent as well. The songs that DMS writes might be currently in vogue with his east-end drawl bringing to mind Jamie T, Plan B and Lilly Allen but where this rises above the rest is with the original sounding musical arrangements and his honest and open lyrics. The boy may only be 19, but he's got a way with words.

The opening acoustic strum of Same Old Story sounds familiar until the horn kicks in... I've not heard that before. Then DMS's voice kicks in with his Billy Bragg / Jamie T tones, "Same old story / Cocaine glory" is the refrain, the song sounds like it's dealing with the usual Friday night outings in town after one too many lagers and the cares and loves of 21st Century teenagers. Ain't Just The Weather is slightly more jolly: "Girl, it ain't just the weather that’s making me hot, it's you" which might not be the opening lines of a traditional love song, but there's something open and honest about the lyrics, there's no hiding behind complex language. Then there's the trombone as well. It's so refreshing to hear the more rudimentary acoustic guitar strumming embellished with something a little more different - why not use a brass section? It sounds right, so why not use it?

It's not all perfect, in places the songs sound like they could do with some polishing here and there in the production stakes and some of the songs can stray into the usual boy-meets-girl scenarios (see Song Four). But these songs are a refreshing listen, the addition of the brass section to the usual acoustic strumming makes it sound different to the norm and this young man has the ability to write something a little different and stretch himself.




out of 10

Last updated: 08/03/2018 17:23:32

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