The Fidelity Wars

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What becomes of the brokenhearted? If you're Darren Hayman, you channel your pain and suffering into a remarkable pop record. Hefner's The Fidelity Wars is a classic breakup album, an unsettlingly acute musical diary born of sleepless, nicotine-stained nights, and best appreciated under similar circumstances. These tersely melodic confessionals chart romantic disintegration in unflinching detail, endlessly replaying each and every lie and betrayal. Although the scenarios change from song to song -- "The Weight of the Stars" depicts a one-night stand, "Fat Kelly's Teeth" explores infidelity, and so on -- the endings don't, as time after time Hayman is left to sift through the rubble, invariably swallowed alive by his own doubts, fears, and weaknesses. The bitter irony of The Fidelity Wars is that the honesty, vulnerability, and neurotic self-obsession which make Hefner's music so moving are the same qualities which doom each of Hayman's relationships to failure almost before they begin.

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