Diamond Rings, Free Dimensional
Stepping out from behind the rainbow eye makeup and lo-fi production
Now that the glitter has settled, Diamond Rings (aka Canadian artist and musician Johnny O’Regan) takes an understated approach on sophomore album Free Dimensional. His debut Special Affectations mostly chronicled O’Regan’s metamorphosis from the frontman to the D’Ubervilles, into Johnny O, strutting glam pop singer. Free Dimensional completes the transition, with O. stepping out from behind the behind rainbow eye makeup and lo-fi production. The more spacious arrangements are aided by producer Damian Taylor (BjÃ¶rk, the Killers, Robyn), who help Diamond Rings achieve a sleeker, futuristic sound, with overt nods to Grace Jones in the dancefloor ringer “Hand Over My Heart,” Annie Lennox in the minimal thumper “I’m Just Me,” and David Bowie in the propulsive singalong “Runaway Love.” O’s lyrics are more confident too, with self-declarations like “I know when to trust my vision/ I know when to show my pride” in opener “Everything Speaks” and unabashed romantic statements like “We’re never going to care what they say/ we don’t need a label” in Balearic gem “All the Time.” True to its title, Free Dimensional is just that, free: of affectations as well as inhibitions.