A Cacophony of Electronic Sound…
Dan Black returns with a sophomore album, Do Not Revenge, eight years after his debut, UN. The last five years were spent creating, producing and mixing this latest effort. Existing somewhere on the spectrum between wonky pop and electronica, Do Not Revenge transcends genre for an honest and experimental collection.
In an interview for Starry Constellation Magazine, Black claimed “Wash Away” has meant the most to him because it was “the truest thing” he’s written. Sonically, it’s equal parts hymn and dance, and the combination is both sincere and interesting. “Space Invaders” is production-heavy with distorted electronics and vocals to tie into the theme of a broken relationship. A tamer pop single, “Blow,” follows. “Farewell” is a duet between Black and Kelis. It begins slowly, with Kelis’s soft, euphoric voice lulling listeners in as a modern beat builds beneath her. Kelis and Black trade off verses and come together for a repetitive chorus that showcases smart pop production. Listeners are then transitioned to the soothing “So.” Subtle keyboard, vocal slides and rhythmic clapping make this dreamy track an easy comparison to Owl City.
“Headphones” is the leading single from the album. “‘Cos I been living in my headphones for too long,” offers a literal take on the singer’s reality of creating Do Not Revenge. Imogen Heap is featured on “We Drift On” for a layered vocal and ethereal collaboration similar to Jónsi. “Ur the 1” and “Plastic <3” stifle the album’s progress as they both collapse at their respective choruses due to too much repetition. “Polar Bears” picks up the pace with a melody channeling Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” Then, “The Ballad of 1 Up” creates a downward spiral of eclectic sounds — like the jangling of keys to carry the slow-paced song. The bonus track, “Zoo,” is a slurring electronic number that uses its title as a comparison to Black’s brain and relationships.
Do Not Revenge is a cacophony of electronic sound. A visual element of the album appropriately labeled 12 Songs_12 Experiences is also available on Black’s website.