Diana Darby

Fantasia Ball

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Diana Darby apparently took Allen Ginsberg's "first thought best thought" advice to heart when she recorded her second album, Fantasia Ball. The title itself seems to be an ironic statement; this minimally dressed album would be very out of place anywhere rightly calling itself "Fantasia Ball." Even saying it's minimal is an understatement: most songs feature only Darby's whispered vocals and guitar playing so ethereal that it's in danger of floating away. Darby decided not to fuss too much over the songs, and she admitted that the first takes were often the takes that ended up on the album. But this is a good thing in her case: her voice -- which can be sexy, playful, and brooding all at once -- is the best part of the music. Ornamentation would have just obscured it, and the hushed, intimate mood of this record would surely have been lost.

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