The Diary

Page One

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Page One is a 1995 solo project from Anything Box member Claude S. Using the moniker the Diary, Claude S. has crafted an album of material considerably darker than the Erasure-style synth-pop of Anything Box. Inspired by the detached, brooding style of bands like Joy Division and New Order, Page One could have been shamefully derivative, but the album is surprisingly easy to digest and often quite beautiful. Fans expecting the light dance-pop of Anything Box tracks like "Living in Oblivion" and "Jubilation" will be instantly surprised by Page One's organic, laid-back sound. A restrained guitar sample carries the short opener "Simpleton," but the sweet tenor of Claude S. is still instantly recognizable despite the differing musical approach. The tune recalls the melancholy pop sound of the Smashing Pumpkins' hit "1979," and the rest of Page One conveys a similar mood. The Diary even pulls off a solid cover of the Joy Division classic "Love Will Tear Us Apart," using a subtle, slower arrangement that suits the song quite nicely. Page One boasts other standout tracks like "All Dreams Must End" and the gorgeous "Because." Claude S., who produced and performed every instrument on Page One, shows an obvious affection for his influences, because the album sustains its dark mood without coming across as parodic. Many acts citing the Cure, Joy Division, or Bauhaus as inspiration resort to melodrama and often absurd gothic imagery and shock value that are difficult to take seriously. The best work of bands of this ilk is based on internal struggle and sheer emotional power, not dressing in black and screaming self-conscious lyrics of anger and self-pity. While Page One doesn't exactly reach the melodic heights of excellent Anything Box releases like Worth or Hope, it is a true showcase for the talent of Claude S.

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