Other People’s Love Songs is just that – a baker’s dozen songs written from the perspective of one half of different couples. Each was commissioned and written from a real person’s perspective. The protagonists are both male and female, gay and straight, young and old. What each has in common is a wry humour, an uncynical romanticism, and a keen eye for the small, quirky details that are uniquely personal to each relationship. Lyrically astute, and often very funny, Corey Dargel manages to give each of his subjects their own individual eccentricity, whilst name-checking things seldom heard in pop songs such as players in military bands, the Jefferson Airplane, appendectomies, Kew Gardens, accidents involving wells, Sibelius string quartets and the Isle of Lewis.
The music is a kind of busy, primary coloured electro-pop, but the tunes are quite complex, with non-scanning, non-rhyming lines the norm, and few in the way of standard choruses. Dargel’s light tenor is a little bland. It suits the more droll material, but there’s little in the way of romantic passion on offer. These are love affairs as comfortable old slippers, rather than heart-rending melodrama. But having said that, it does convey a sweet innocence that makes a change from the tremulous emoting of most examples of the genre. Other People’s Love Songs is a clever, amusing and entertaining set. Sparks don’t fly, but a warm grin might ensue.
1 My Voice Is in Your Head (for Katie from Teresa)
2 Berkeley, California (for Honor from Da)
3 Your Secret’s Safe (for Ansel from Eve)
4 Had I Jumped (for Anne from Kurt)
5 All Other Sounds (for Brian from Molly)
6 The Men We Used to Be (for Paul from Jack)
7 Magnetically Elusive (for Moe from Eric)
8 Hurry Up and Settle Down (for Damon from Jenn)
9 Seagulls (for CJ from Karen)
10 Lullaby (for 45x from Rachel)
11 Five of a Kind (for Carl from Kristin)
12 Summer of Love (for Maile from Jeff)
13 Six Point Five Billion People (for Catherine from Phil)