domingo, 31 de mayo de 2009

Dare - Belief (2001)

Darren Wharton linked up with Thin Lizzy just as their downward spiral began, a decline that can't be laid at the then-17-year-old keyboardist/backing vocalist's door. Wharton loyally remained with the group until the bitter end, forming his own band, Dare, only after Phil Lynott's untimely death. The group's 1987 debut, "Out of the Silence", and its follow-up, 1991's "Blood from Stone", were both well received; however, a label shakeup left the band out in the cold. Wharton moved to Wales to consider his future, then joined the re-formed Lizzy in 1994.

The years passed, and it wasn't until the new millennium that the singing keyboardist put together the new look and new sound of Dare. "Belief" arrived in 2002, with Beneath the Shining Water emerging two years later. It was six years before the two albums were given an American release, when they were picked and paired on a two-CD set by Rock Ridge. It was a sensible move, as both titles were very much cut from the same cloth — misty rock with a Celtic flair.

"Falling" is arguably the closest Dare get on either set to pop/rock in an almost classic mode, with both albums instead dominated by midtempo rockers and keyboard-lit ballads. On "Belief", it's the title track that's the arena showstopper, a lighter-in-the-air sway-along, sent soaring by Steve Ricard's incendiary guitar solos. "Beneath the Shining Water" features a clutch of such anthems, including the set-opening "Sea of Roses," the U2-tinged "The Battles That You've Won," the triumphant "Where Darkness Ends," and the haunting, guitar-swept "Storm Wind." While this set contained the stronger rockers, Belief boasts the prettier ballads, with the best of the batch the lovely "Phoenix" and the keyboard and acoustic guitar-led "Take Me Away." However, the copious arrangements, full-blown productions, and misty atmospheres that infest both sets eventually begin to dull the senses, and give the songs a rather samey feel, emphasized by the lack of any real dynamics.

The music is certainly sumptuous, but a bit overly rich in one sitting, and one wishes Dare would dare to mix up their sound a bit more. (C)


Listen this album online with Spotify

Dare official site


- Amazon
- CD Universe
- Go-Music
- 7-Digital ES
- 7-Digital UK

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