Spinning Around

A delectable debut by the former frontman of Savage Garden.

Darren Hayes had a haircut. After Savage Garden wilted. After he resurrected the sounds in his head and pressed them on plastic. The solitary Hayes wears All-Star sneakers with a 60s suit and unabashedly professes his devotion to the magic men of the 80s.

"Spin" spills stunners. Hayes’ winged vocals, coupled with active synthesizers and a richly varied orchestra that takes in violins, cellos and clarinets makes this as diverse an album one can make, seating it on a pop pedestal once and for all.

This music box opens to "Strange Relationship", a chic swanky number, followed closely by a more sedate "Insatiable" with high-pitched vocals and a terrific play of strings. A prominent throwback to the 80s styles are the fast spinners like "Dirty", the unusual "Heart Attack" and the delectable "Creepin' Up On You". Evening the score are his slow-flowing tracks like "I Miss You" and "I Can’t Ever Get Enough Of You", among others, yet these never slip into uniform groove, or spiral into depression. Closing the parade is another "Insatiable" clone, this one moving to house beats.

A well-proportioned debut, it makes for spirited pop, and, somehow, the unassuming lyrics and evident attempt at higher ground makes this angelic Aussie my blue-eyed boy.

This article was first published on 15 May 2002.