Darlings is the second solo outing from Canadian singer/songwriter and Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew. Arriving a full seven years after 2007's Spirit If…, which was billed as "Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew" and featured contributions from most of his bandmates, Darlings comes across as a more focused and decidedly more solo effort than its predecessor. The sprawling pop experimentalism that was the bedrock of his former project has been subdued and refined to fit Drew's more singular vision and sharpened songwriting. There's an apparent, warm weariness to these 11 songs which Drew claims are "about the rise and fall of love and sex, in my own life and in today's society." In the hands of a lesser artist, these themes could wear out their welcome pretty quickly, but Drew approaches them with enough soul and humility to make it work. From the meditative, synth-driven single "Good Sex," with its wobbly, pulsing piano to the dreamy, after-hours contemplation of "My God," Darlings is as messy, soothing, and inviting a record as its subject matter would suggest. Aided in part by two of his longtime BSS cohorts Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit, Drew enlisted friend Dave Hamelin of Montreal indie rockers the Stills to co-produce the album in the Canadian wilderness town of Banff, Alberta. Fellow Torontonian and former BSS singer Feist also makes a nice guest appearance on Darlings, as does Apostle of Hustle's Dean Stone, but unlike his 2007 debut, the focus here remains largely on Drew and his well-written material.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger