Small Sins, 'Mood Swings' (Astralwerks)

Critical Mass
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by Julia Simon

On his 2006 debut as Small Sins, Thomas D'Arcy set his lovelorn laments to Moog-filled, Postal Service pop. Here, the Toronto native employs the same mid-tempo drum-machine beats and steady synths, but behind the warm electro purrs, he's gone from bummed to bellicose. Thinly reverberating album opener "I Need a Friend" introduces D'Arcy's affinity for firearms, and by the penultimate track, "Bullet," the singer/producer is packin' a piece ("On the Run") and has threatened to use it ("On the Line"). He's more convincing as a sad romantic than a badass renegade.

Now Hear This: Small Sins - "On the Line" DOWNLOAD MP3

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