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Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 28/04/2002


Darren Hayes goes 'oooh'

Spin, the first solo album from Darren Hayes (former lead singer of Gusworld favourites Savage Garden) came out during my recent trip to the UK, but rather uncharacteristically, I didn't buy it the day it came out. This wasn't due to a particular lack of enthusiasm, but because I knew the version coming out in Australia would include a bonus track, 'The Heart Wants What It Wants'. (The UK release boasted of giving access to three bonus tracks online, but to my mind one always-available track beats out the possibility of streaming media any day.)

There are some excellent tracks on Spin, especially the stalker number 'Creepin' Up On You', the opener 'Strange Relationship' and the apparent second single 'Crush (1980 Me)'. However, after listening to the disc a couple of times, I came to a strange conclusion: Mr Hayes is opening far too many songs with variants on the phrase 'ooh' or 'ooh yeah' or 'uh huh' or all three, sung in a vaguely suggestive fashion and with no discernable meaning. This trend was apparent on the album's first single, 'Insatiable', but it is much more pervasive than that. In fact, of the 13 tracks on Spin, just two don't begin in this way: the aforementioned 'Strange Relationship' and 'Crush'.

This represents a major shift from Savage Garden's two albums, where the 'ooohs' were sprinkled much more sparingly. On their self-titled debut, only 'Universe' begins this way, while on 'Affirmation' only 'I Knew I Loved You' has an oooh-heavy opening. ('Hold Me' comes close, but the opening 'Hey yeah' seems to be part of the lyric and not just mindless doodling). One can't help but suspect that US executives, hoping to reproduce the success of 'I Knew I Loved You', have encouraged the turning up of the 'ooohs' to possibly dangerous levels.

With care and skill, this trend can still be nipped in the bud. Otherwise, the whole 'oooh' thing could get a bit like those annoying grunts that Michael Jackson sprinkles all over his records. They were catchy enough the first time, but these days they tend to serve to the detriment of the tune. Dazza should take note.


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