Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 25/02/99

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.

The return of Savage Garden

One of the problems when Australian acts become successful overseas is that we have to wait forever for them to do anything new locally. This is certainly the case with Savage Garden, who were still virtually unknown when they attained the coveted Single Of The Week award here on Gusworld more than two years ago. Since then, as virtually everyone must know, they've attained massive global success on the back of their ballad 'Truly Madly Deeply' (a great song, but no 'To The Moon And Back' if you ask me). Having stayed in the US top 40 for more than a year and spent similar amounts of time charting in the UK, the band's overseas record company has understandably not been too keen to rush out more material.

One benefit of this is that we've got more singles in Australia than we would have otherwise (five from the debut album, as opposed to three in most other places), and a slew of non-album B-sides and remixes to go with them. But we've had to wait until this week for some totally new material to appear, in the form of the new single, 'The Animal Song' (complete with revised and capitalised logo).

This is a typical Savage Garden song; catchy, poppy, not too deep (and following the 'Truly Madly Deeply' pattern by not having the song title in the chorus). It's been getting heavy radio play prior to release, and I expect it's going to debut high on the charts. Since, however, the band isn't due to begin recording the rest of its album until March, we could be waiting a while for more new stuff. (The B-side is the Bittersweet Remix of 'Santa Monica', a tacky dance-up of a great song.)

One mildly disturbing trend is that original producer Charles Fisher has been shunted aside in favour of US producer Walter Afanasieff. It's not really surprising that the band moved on -- tying yourself to one producer can be a dangerous move, and the duo have already self-produced a number of tracks. However, the selection of Afanasieff, best known for his work with Mariah Carey and co-writing the (gulp) Barbra Streisand-Celine Dion duet 'Tell Him', ain't a good sign, although 'The Animal Song' has in fact turned out OK. I've no idea if he'll be working on the album, but if he is, I suggest they don't let him co-write.

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