|Dare Arc Of The Dawn||Legend Records/NL Distribution|
Never ever count the years between Dare albums – it will only leave you frustrated and feeling old. But thankfully 2009 is an "on" year and Dare have returned with another accomplished dose of highly produced, super-slick British AOR to feast upon and keep your ears happy until at least 2012! Darren Wharton really is the master of personal lyrics and haunting melodies, wrapped in layers and layers of keyboards and guitar parts.|
Dare's sound is unique and unmistakable. And on Arc Of The Dawn, the band has not deviated from the formula that got them this far. I really love this band, but started feeling some frustration at the lack of variety and the ever softening structure of their songs over the last album or two.
I'm thankful that Darren Wharton has turned that around somewhat and mixed up the tempo here and has also re-introduced guitar as the dominant instrument of most songs.
There was some confusion if original guitarist Vinny Burns was to record guitar parts for this album and as soon as I heard it, I presumed he had. But I'm assured that time did not allow that to happen and the duties for this album were handled entirely by Richie Dews. Congrats Richie – you sound fabulous and the more prominent guitar takes me back to the excellent Calm Before The Storm album.
Dublin and Shelter In The Storm really are stand out tracks of pure Dare brilliance. When likewise.
And the huge ballad Still Waiting is just brilliant, with the guitar parts lifting the song into orbit mid-way through.
The only disappointments I have to register here is the repeat performance of the songs King Of Spades and I Will Return (Return This Heart) from the debut album. I know the reasoning behind this, but I have those tracks already and they will never be beaten. The reworking of Thin Lizzy's Emerald into a moody Dare style track is more acceptable and really very cool.
And another cover is included, with a fairly straight-forward cover of the classic Cheap Trick ballad The Flame. Some will love this, others not, but it's fair to say that the song fits Darren Wharton's voice and style to a tee and personally I rate it highly.
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