Daniel Johns

"Talk"

(Emi); Pop/r&b

By ​Phil ​Bennett

It’s been a long, strange path for Daniel Johns as he has publicly stumbled and risen up again from his high school days in black and white striped Kurt Cobain costume fronting the grungy Silverchair through a slow band evolution and breakup, some interesting diversions with the Dissociatives, and now his first full length solo venture.

For those expecting Frogstomp rifferama, there will be much sighing and eyebrow raising as there’s nary a standard guitar sound in earshot.

But then, anyone who’s taken an active interest in Johns and his muse over the years would know that the man has not stopped changing since he first burst onto Australian TV screens at the age of 15.

Talk is a rare thing, satisfying and puzzling in equal parts.

There’s a pleasing variety amid the mellow R&B and soul grooves with his voice often a quivering falsetto, and he switches from the quirky electropop of We Are Golden to the dramatic balladry of Preach with ease.

His way with a melody hasn’t dimmed, particularly on Imagination and By Your Side, but he seems content to blur the picture with a production ethic that can, at times, seem a little forced in an effort to remain contemporary.

Satisfying, but puzzling.

Talk seems a bit like the first blindfolded step, a sort of let’s see where this takes us moment in his fascinating career.

The next one should be an interesting affair indeed.

Intriguing.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.