Dan Black, '((Un))' (The:Hours)

Critical Mass
Label: The:Hours

by Barry Walters

This ex-alt rocker nearly scored a U.K. hit with his 2008 "Umbrella"-beat remake of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" -- until Biggie's estate nixed its official release. ((Un))'s reworked version, a quasi-mash-up called "Symphonies," epitomizes the downbeat side of Black's knack for recycling divergent styles into cinematic synth pop. And although an old Cliff Richard guitar hook (from "Devil Woman") gets paraphrased for the escapist disco of "Pump My Pumps," the album works best when Black's mood swings between Technicolor dreams and depressing quotidian details.

WATCH: Dan Black, "Symphonies"



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