Fyfe Dangerfield – Barricades/She Needs Me
aaamusic | On 06, Sep 2010
Despite his name, Fyfe Dangerfield is in fact as gentle and romantic as a movie-cliché slowdance among clouds. His new double a-side release consists of two sentimental piano ballads: ‘Barricades’ and ‘She Needs Me’.
‘Barricades’ is the much more tender and melancholy of the two, being driven not only by Dangerfield’s warm and emotive vocals and sensitive piano playing, but a quietly strummed acoustic guitar and the obligatory string section to bulk up the sound from “understated” to “soaring balladry”. Accompanied by a grainy black and white video of the man himself playing the song, this will find its way onto film soundtracks and soap operas within the next few weeks without the slightest effort involved. It falls into nearly every pop ballad cliché imaginable, from steady drums to the strings to the syrupy lyricism, yet the smooth production and earnest heart prevents it from grating horribly, even if the overall effect is a little soppy.
The second song, ‘She Needs Me’ adds some much-needed bounce to the proceedings, incorporating an astronomically more cheerful melody to the mix, and the 4/4 dancefloor rhythm and string/horns combo mean that the track feels like a flashback to the heady days of 70s/80s disco on the radio. Dangerfield also proves that he is more than capable of both borderline-morbid romanticism and euphoric disco-pop happiness, the string section swirling rather than dirging and this creates a lighter and overall more enjoyable track.
Bucking the usual trend, it has to be said that the lyrics on the happier song feel more accomplished and so of the two, I would rather have said that ‘She Needs Me’ is the accessible and enjoyable a-side and ‘Barricades’, despite being a worthwhile song, would have to be the b-side. Both tracks are slick little pop cuts ready for the public to love and with good reason, as Fyfe Dangerfield is in possession of a real and tuneful voice. However, neither song fully lifts itself from feeling like yet more fluffy radio pop. Yes it is pretty, well-crafted and altogether pleasant, but the same can be said for an ornamental chocolate teapot.
Author: Katie H-Halinski