Dirrrty Pop Review: Darren Hayes – The Tension And The Spark

So if you thought I was going to let Darren Hayes release a new album without me making a massive fuss, even if it did come out on one of the most hectic weeks of my life, then you are highly mistaken. Here is my track-by-track review:


This is rumoured to be the 2nd single from the album and although it makes a good opening track/introduction to the record, I’m not sure how it’ll work as a single. However, it is a great songs so it could still do really well. It starts quite slowly but really picks up and gets more emotional after “It doesn’t really matter where it all began”.

I Like The Way

This song definitely explains the comparison to Depeche Mode and Madonna, but also reminds me of early Savage Garden, particularly a few songs near the end of their self-titled debut album. The lyrics in this song are great, and the album title is actually taken from the line “I like the way you move in the dark, the tension, the tension and the spark”.


One of my favourites, this is beautiful and uplifting. It is a light at the end of the dark tunnel created by the two songs before it. It is still electrotastic, but more accessible. Any song which uses the word ‘glitter’ more than once gets an obligatory thumbs up from me.


Unsurprisingly, the most fun song on the album. It’s stand out for changing the subject, but it’s sound fits in perfectly, just showing a different side of Darren. It deserves to be there because this celebrity culture is as much a part of Darren’s life as all the other highs and lows he tells us about in the other songs.

Dublin Sky

There are plenty “howowowhoo”s in this so it’ll be pop!ular with fans of the ballads on the Spin album. Again it’s quite uplifting and pretty but actually the lyrics are sad.


This is one of the poppiest songs after Pop!ular itself, and it’s the song I can’t get out of my head at the moment. I love the tenuous rhyme pof “bother” and “another” and the line “ladies and gentleman listne up please” which begins the chorus. This is probably my favourite song on TTATS.


This is another of my favourites, as it has all the ingerdients of a great song in my opinion. It is angry and emotional whilst overdosing on squelches, high bits and fast talky bits. This looks like it will be the third single, but I personally think it would make a better follow-up to Pop!ular than Darkness.


Begins with a heavy electro intro, making it one of the toucher songs on the album. The lyrics describe how sleeping around, desperately trying to find “the one” makes true love impossible to detect. The “doesn’t anyone” repeats hark back to the “I believe”s of one Savage Garden’s most well known singles, Affirmation, but this time it’s far more urgent and affecting.

I Forgive You

This is the track produced by Marius De Vries, who has worked with everyone from the Sugababes to Rufus Wainwright. Again this reminds me of some of the early Savage Garden songs. The final line “feel good letting go” cleverly leads into the song named Feel itself.


This ballad starts very simply, with squelches of course. The chorus is hard to find but it turns into a very beautiful song. I do keep thinking he says “whereby” at the “way up high” bit, though.

Love And Attraction

The Bad Touch-esque intro makes this Darren’s All Day Long I Dream About Sex, but playing with sexuality and love as well as sex itself. Another good bit is the “everybody wants…” middle 8.

Sense Of Humour

I particularly like the lyrics of this song. I love the rhyme of “wit” and “hit”. It employs Crush (1980 Me)’s clever two songs at once trick about 2/3 of the way through, to more the song more interesting and as per usual it works.


The final track on TTATS begins slightly Oasis-y, or John Lennon-y to the oldies among you. There is an amusing couplet about “personal pronouns” which you must listen out for. This is probably the biggest departure from Darren’s past work and his voice sounds most different on this track. You certainly wouldn’t guess this was by the singer of “I Miss You”.

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