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Un by Dan Black
Released: Feb 2010
Label: The Hours Records
Dan Black's debut LP will invariably draw comparisons to both the Streets and La Roux, given its fusion of bedroom hip-hop and glossy synth pop. But despite the bleeps and breakbeats, he's working mostly off an earlier model: The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony," whose symphonic flourishes and pained Brit-pop drawl guide the U.K. producer's best moves here, on tracks like "U + Me =" and "Ecstasy." A Kid Cudi cameo should help Black gain U.S. listeners, but he hardly needs the help. From clever production to crack songwriting to his versatile, emotive voice, Black's charisma shines throughout.
Philip Sherburne
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