You'll Never Know
Science for Girls auteur Darren Solomon has taken a long, circuitous route to his debut album. As a 19-year-old NYU student, he was summoned to tour with Ray Charles for two years, spent four years backing Barry Manilow (whose “Sweet Life” is featured here in technologically advanced form), and then began writing and producing scores for over 100 television commercials. Left to his own creative devices, Solomon’s debut album, courtesy of spacy textures and processed beats, falls under the electronica umbrella, circa 2008. Tracks such as “You’ll Never Know” and “Sonnet 96” expand into the manipulated pop terrain of Moby and Prefab Sprout, but for all the special effects — and even the vocals get treated here — strict attention is applied to the songwriting that evinces a strong emotional connection with its floating, ominous tones and an end-of-the-world desolation. Soulful, tinted with hints of Brazilian pop, polished and lush yet sparse and minimalist in its sense of time and space, Science for Girls is the sound of an industry professional letting loose on his wilder pop impulses.