DIAMOND RINGS Free Dimensional CD/LP

Second long-player from Diamond Rings aka John O'Regan continues the blueprint of near-nursery rhyme sing-songy electro pop but there are some elements of growth here. The 1st single "I'm Just Me" speaks to this urge for growth and learning with references to getting comfortable in one's own skin and the hook line "Hold me under water/Teach me how to Breath"... The musical backing is very well crafted and catchy (plus John's deep voice is pretty distinct and unbeatable) but it's a tad sterile and Laptop sounding... I doubt however that this will be a problem for those who have grown up on this stuff. There aren't as many guitar workouts as there were on Special Affections but there's at least some on the third track "Runaway Love"—wish there was a little more string bending 'cause he's actually a decent guitar player but, oh well (guess he's too busy bending...GENDERS? Thanks, I'm here all night).

Overall I think this is a solid, if somewhat formulaic effort, but I'm a big fan of his formula; it really makes you wish you were falling into a relationship in that us against the world kind of way. I think this guy is inching towards Le Success Massiv more and more here and I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of time before Diamond Rings is a household word. [Astralwerks/Secret City]

-Mike Stender


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