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Chant Darling

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (25 ratings)
Chant Darling album cover
Like a Fool
The Undesirables
Apple Pie Bed
Auckland CBD Part Two
The Beautiful Young Crew
Eye A
The Crew of the Commodore
Fine Old Friends
I've Smoked Too Much
Dream Teacher
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 36:20

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Wondering Sound

Review 0

Alex Craig


Lawrence Arabia, Chant Darling
2010 | Label: Bella Union / Redeye

Lawrence Arabia is James Milne, a New Zealand native whose Beatlesque songwriting recalls another Kiwi singer/songwriter — Crowded House's Neil Finn. In fact, Neil's son Liam Finn, who has mined similar territory with his own solo work, makes a guest appearance on the stellar Chant Darling. Milne, who had previously played with groups like Okkervil River, The Brunettes, and The Ruby Suns, employs self-deprecating lyricism and quirky, vaguely psychedelic '60s pop references to great effect,… read more »

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Where was this guy during The Lost Weekend?


His parents know him as James Milne. He's made an album that channels Nilsson and Lennon at their mid-70s peak (nadir?)...Super stuff all the way around. Try tracks 3, 5 & 9. Also a great live act with backing band The Prime Ministers.

They Say All Music Guide

Lawrence Arabia is the nom de plume of New Zealand singer/songwriter James Milne. At different times he was a member of fellow NZ groups the Ruby Suns and the Brunettes, and like both those bands, Lawrence Arabia is sunny, feel-good music that draws from the history of melodic pop music but gives it a unique feel. In this case Milne is influenced by the usual suspects like the Brian Wilson-led Beach Boys, the Beatles, and folk-rock bands like the Byrds, but also some oddballs like Harry Nilsson and Robyn Hitchcock. (Indeed, his vocals sound like a pleasing cross between John Lennon’s sardonic sneer and Nilsson’s angelic tones.) This means his harmony-filled, classically structured songs have a pleasing current of whimsy and weirdness running through them — not enough to make the album comedy rock but enough to keep it from being just another album about feelings and boring stuff like that. Sure, he can knock the stuffing out of a lost-in-love song (check the lovely “Like a Fool” for an example), but it’s nice to hear someone tackle off-kilter subjects with wit and, more importantly, great melodies and inventive production. Milne is able to tackle a variety of styles with equal skill, whether it’s the shimmering power pop of “Apple Pie Bed,” the folky, world music-ish “Auckland CBD Part Two,” or the country-rocking “I’ve Smoked Too Much.” The album flows from style to style gracefully, and by the time it comes to a close, it’s clear that Chant Darling is the work of a guy with a firm handle on what it takes to make an interesting, engaging record. – Tim Sendra

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