Darren Hayes' move outside the circle of former group Savage Garden reveals a singer/songwriter who wants to raise spirits, embrace romance and sexuality, and unapologetically celebrate '80s pop.

Darren Hayes' move outside the circle of former group Savage Garden reveals a singer/songwriter who wants to raise spirits, embrace romance and sexuality, and unapologetically celebrate '80s pop. First single "Insatiable" adheres to the gentle sparkle of previous pop standards "I Knew I Loved You" and "Truly Madly Deeply," with its creamy, dreamy melody—albeit amped-up lyric—as do the breezy, gorgeous "I Miss You" and "Like It or Not." But it's in the more fervent, experimental cuts like "Crush (1980 Me)" and "Dirty" where Hayes breaks free with whip in hand, snapping listeners to attention with a stack of steely synthesizers in the foreground —which creates a dramatic contrast to his ever-harmonic, easy-on-the-ears vocal vibe. Hayes sounds like he has found a comfortable place to put his Spin on the blacks and whites of the emotional and musical spectrums, while showcasing his innate ability to forge melodies that are as colorful and fresh as a rainbow. This is spring pressed on plastic.—CT

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