Darren Hanlon: I Will Love You at All

Darren Hanlon: I Will Love You at All
Darren Hanlon became a solo artist in 1999 after toiling in and out of bands in his native Australia. Since that time he has released five albums including his most recent, I Will Love You at All.
For bloggers, singer/songwriter becomes something of a dirty word. Almost all singer/songwriters off the same thing: acoustic instruments with heart-on-sleeve lyrics. Some might be better than others but there is only so many singer/songwriters one can listen to before wanting to kill him or herself. Darren Hanlon really avoids making me want to kill myself. His music juxtaposes the fragility of being a singer/songwriter with snark and wit. He reminds me of Sha Sha-era Ben Kweller.
Besides his insouciance what also is going for Darren Hanlon is his instrumentation. When I hear singer/songwriter I think of a man or woman with nothing but an acoustic guitar or the rare piano. Darren Hanlon’s main instrument is guitar but he employs musicians to play with him. Musicians include drummer Rachel Blumberg and keyboardist Cory Gray among others. The added instruments really help to add to Hanlon’s poignant songwriting.
Despite the overwhelming positive tone of this review, there are some tracks that feel more traditionally “singer/songwriter”-esque than others. The most notable track is the mid-album nearly eight minute track “House”. The song is a windy and emotional yarn that feels more like an album closer than the fifth song on a 10 song album. There are a few others that have a similar feel but luckily not too many to sully the record completely.
Overall, I Will Love You at All is a pretty good record. The songwriting is catchy and well instrumented but close listeners will be wowed with Hanlon’s mid-90s snark while still maintaining emotion.
Rating: 7.3/10
MP3: Darren Hanlon “Butterfly Bones”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!