Tension & the Spark

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
As one half of Australian boy band Savage Garden, falsetto-voiced Darren Hayes became the unofficial poster boy for the sensitive new man of the '90s, thanks to his often schmaltzy brand of adult contemporary pop, which was lapped up by a willing public in both the U.S. and Europe as well as his homeland. As accomplished as Spin, his first record since their acrimonious 2000 split was, its blend of George Michael-esque R&B and soft rock ballads didn't exactly indicate a hugely chameleon-like solo career -- which makes his reinvention on follow-up The Tension and the Spark, a highly personal self-penned 13-track set of songs evoking the swirling electronica of Madonna's ...
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27/09/2004 Audio CD Used-Good Fast delivery with shipping on the same day from our warehouse in the UK. A fantastic item in good or better condition. Other items in our Alibris ... Store include books, CD's, DVD's and games. Read more Show Less

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27/09/2004 Audio CD Used-Good Fast delivery with shipping on the same day from our warehouse in the UK. A fantastic item in good or better condition. Other items in our Alibris ... Store include books, CD's, DVD's and games. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Valley Cottage, NY

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27/09/2004 Audio CD Used-Good Fast delivery with shipping on the same day from our warehouse in the UK. A fantastic item in good or better condition. Other items in our Alibris ... Store include books, CD's, DVD's and games. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Valley Cottage, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
As one half of Australian boy band Savage Garden, falsetto-voiced Darren Hayes became the unofficial poster boy for the sensitive new man of the '90s, thanks to his often schmaltzy brand of adult contemporary pop, which was lapped up by a willing public in both the U.S. and Europe as well as his homeland. As accomplished as Spin, his first record since their acrimonious 2000 split was, its blend of George Michael-esque R&B and soft rock ballads didn't exactly indicate a hugely chameleon-like solo career -- which makes his reinvention on follow-up The Tension and the Spark, a highly personal self-penned 13-track set of songs evoking the swirling electronica of Madonna's Ray of Light and the sophisticated synth pop of Pet Shop Boys, even more surprising. Sure, its electro-based dance-pop sound isn't akin to Hayes suddenly veering into thrash metal or Celtic folk territory, but compared to the MOR leanings of his previous output, it's an adventurous and ambitious step forward for an artist whose four-million-selling debut suggests he could quite easily have stuck to what he knew best. Largely co-written and co-produced with Robert Conley, whose band Specificus previously toured with Hayes, it's a subtle and introspective record that tackles angst-ridden insecurity "Unlovable", the cult of celebrity "Pop!ular", and his discomfort at being idolized by fans "Hero". However, The Tension and the Spark is far from being a bleak and downbeat ode to self-pity. "Love and Affection" is a sizzling fusion of twisted synths, acidic basslines, and throbbing beats that recalls the experimental club sounds of Mirwais, "I Like the Way" is a slinky attempt at glam-disco that could have been lifted from any of Goldfrapp's dancier albums, and the trip-hop-influenced "Dublin Sky" is an uplifting acoustic number that provides the perfect gap-bridger between his old and new sound. But the album is undoubtedly more intriguing when it's at its most melancholic. Opening track "Darkness" is a brooding slice of ambient electro, full of William Orbit-style sound effects, atmospheric strings, and ethereal guitar hooks, which brilliantly sets up both the album's sound and lyrical themes of dark and light, while "I Forgive You" throws some gothic pop and alternative country influences into the mix on a bitter tale of contempt that allows Hayes to release his inner menacing side before collapsing in a frenzy of unsettling electronic bleeps. This sudden change in direction won't receive half the attention that Robbie's Brit-pop or Justin's R&B-funk makeovers did, but just as convincing and effortless, it's one that has undeniably resulted in the album of Hayes' career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • EAN: 5099751543121
  • Catalog Number: 515431

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Darkness (5:17)
  2. 2 I Like the Way (5:04)
  3. 3 Light (4:54)
  4. 4 Pop!ular (3:53)
  5. 5 Dublin Sky (4:35)
  6. 6 Hero (4:26)
  7. 7 Unlovable (5:23)
  8. 8 Void (3:19)
  9. 9 I Forgive You (4:35)
  10. 10 Feel (4:03)
  11. 11 Love and Attraction (4:05)
  12. 12 Sense of Humor (4:47)
  13. 13 Ego (4:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Darren Hayes Primary Artist
Dave Rainger Guitar
Brandon McCulloch Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Marius de Vries Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Mark "Spike" Stent Producer
Gail Marowitz Art Direction
Nick Thomas Engineer
Darren Hayes Composer
Robert Conley Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Lee Groves Programming
Neil Bowen Cover Design
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lyrically Beautiful and a Masterpiece

    Its a shame that the US never got a formal release of this CD nor did we hear any of the songs on the radio. Darren Hayes is a brillant lyricist and has probably the best male vocalist voice in the industry. This CD grips you from the first track and doesnt let you go - forcing you to see it through to the end. I cant tell you how many times i have listened to this CD over and over just to hear his voice. Unlovable is such a great song and heartbreaking. Darkness - a song that anyone who has been through a tough time can relate to, is haunting. Popular! is funny. Void hits you in your gut and makes you remember that ..."one that got away". I highly recommend this CD if you have not picked it up. You wont be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Darren Hayes

    This man is a musical and lyrical genius! I have never listened to an album with such deep, personal, and emotional lyrics, acompanied by such heart-wrenching music. Darren's music is my escape from life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best

    IV been a fan of Darren's since he was in Savage Garden, but now on his own he’s become such a wonderful singer his voice is hypnotic. I have this CD and all his other cd's in my changer in my car and in the house and id say 90% of my mp3 player is him. Now if all of his fans in America can support him theirs no stopping him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What's so great about The Tension and the Spark???

    Everything! Darren's voice has deepend just enough to make this album perfect. The lyrics on the songs will capture your emotions, like it was meant to, using phrases like "You make me feel like my mother she abandoned me" and "For making me feel like a cheap replacement". Even if you weren't a fan of Savage Garden or his first solo album, this is a great disc to add to your collection. I bought my copy before it was released in the U.S. I'm glad I did, otherwise I wouldn't be able to promote this wonderful album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The spark that was started by a splendid tension!

    I have been a fan of his for many years now, but I must admit that this album continues to bring the force and the passion that we all know and love to listen for. Though I missed some of the more ballad-like songs from the other albums, I am drawn to the Electronica that he has presented on this album continuing from Spin. This record has hit home with me with its talk of relationships and the upbeat and sometimes darker tones were a fantastic way of expressing one's feelings. I have listened to this album continuously since I received it, I can honestly say that Darren won't be leaving us anytime soon!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE BEST ALBUM EVER!!!

    I'm a costumer from Israel in this web site but i got my copy of "the tension & the spark" here from a local store at the worldwide released day, Sep 22. the songs talk to the soul as they break through the stereo speakers with this huge power they have. darren's music & lyrics are so special, giving something new to the electronic music. you can notice he put lots of dedication and thoughts how this album is going to be sound like. it sounds PERFECT!!! I know most of the lyrics already. the "Pop!ular" video is amazing, the next one is "Darkness", being shot now in N.Y. DARREN IS THE ONE & ONLY!!! darren, include Israel in this album tour!!! waiting for you... (:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Truly Sparkling CD

    I have to say this album is THE best Darren has done in terms of vocals and lyrics here. For me being a writer too, reading the lyrics book as I was listening to the cd, more of songs have grown on me, and more I listen to them the more I will enjoy them. At a Listening Party after one listen a few tracks really stood out to me: Dublin Sky, Darkness, Unlovable, I like the way and I forgive you. The rest were in the middle and would grow on me eventually. Now that I have listened properly one time through (and have cd on repeat in my player), the following tracks in order of my favorites: Dublin Sky, I like the way, Darkness Popular, Unlovable, I Forgive You, and Hero. The rest are growing on me slowly as I listen to them more: Light, Love & Attraction, Feel, Void, Ego, and Sense of Humor. This is an album that is a must have for anyone who appreciates good music and lyrics. The electronic musical parts may not be all people's thing but its secondary and not important to me personally. Its an album that will really appeal to many because it has mature themes to it that most people can relate to for sure: heartbreak, darkness, betrayal, loss, and from the bad times, light and love will come your way for sure. If I had to pick the next song as the next single, I'd pick Dublin Sky - its got an acoustic feel, and a slower tempo song that people except from Darren. But its not a typical love song either but a song about looking back and having some regrets & more but also looking back with fondness on the good times of a failed relationship. Run don't walk to the nearest store or website, and get it this cd... its so worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

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