Sweet Disarray

Sweet Disarray

At age 18, Dan Croll moved from Staffordshire, England, to Liverpool to attend the Paul McCartney–founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he won the national Songwriter of the Year award presented by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. This led to a recording contract, several singles, and finally this long-awaited debut album, Sweet Disarray. Traces of McCartney can be heard in the melody and the adventurous pop textures of “Thinkin Aboutchu,” where a roller-rink organ gets tossed among the assorted beats. “Wanna Know” throws a bizarre falsetto vocal performance into the chorus. Polyrhythms work their way through “Compliment Your Soul.” The productions, in general, are extremely fussy. Whether this improves or distracts from the songs depends on one’s preferences. (An XTC fan would likely be enthralled.) It disrupts the flow of “Only Ghost” but adds heavenly atmospherics to the title track, “Maway,” and “Must Be Leaving.” As a young man, Croll indulges his whims. Where these impulses take him from here should prove interesting. 

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