‘Sweet Disarray’ would be an unremarkable singer-songwriter album were it not for Dan Croll’s welcome smatterings of electronica, soul and, most intriguingly, Afrobeat throughout.
However, his vocals are nothing distinctive and his fondness for twee, self-consciously quirky lyrics (“I just want to compliment your soul”) means his music can sometimes be as lightweight as Owl City’s.
The highlight is the title track, probably the most atypical song here, all Crosby, Stills And Nash close harmonies, beautifully building tension and superb use of warm, enveloping brass.
It’s patchy then, but there’s enough quality here to suggest Croll is capable of better things in the future.
Words: Joe Rivers
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Read our interview with Dan Croll here, as part of our Next Wave Class of 2014 special.