Dakota - Heart and Soul
Unmistakably 80s, the debut album from Dakota is a pop opera of heartbreak, longing and eventual acceptance. Sort of like Kuble-Ross’ On Death and Dying performed by the cast of We Will Rock You. Heart and Soul follows front man, Ben Talbot through a passion-heavy break up which finds him one minute making petty remarks about what a slut she is and the next begging her to love him. It is in this honesty that the album really shines. Universal subtleties, like the process of reinventing your image of the person who just broke your heart, are laid bare and before long Talbot’s break up becomes our break up. The music has a wide pallet of inspiration, but locates itself in a very solid sound. It has moments of Placebo’s earlier stuff, but is more consistently reminiscent of a collection of Spandau Ballet ballads. Forthcoming single, ‘We Get Along’ would make perfect sense sung by Wet Wet Wet by a poolside with fake tanned bare chests and perfect hair. The albums ‘Closure Song’, or in Kuble-Ross’ terms, the acceptance piece, is brilliant. It truly feels like an emergence from agony. There is a newfound maturity and cleanliness. The only concern is that it might take our narrator, Ben Talbot, to endure another life crisis before we get a follow-up.