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EDITIONS
Monday, 2 December, 2002, 12:06 GMT
Darius shrugs off Pop Idol
Darius Danesh
Danesh always said he would have a number one single

Darius Danesh came third in ITV talent show Pop Idol but has been determined to stand out from the crowd by writing his own material on his debut album.

When an unknown Scotsman called Darius Danesh auditioned for Popstars with an excruciating version of Britney Spears' Baby One More Time, he seemed set to be little more than one of reality TV's embarrassing footnotes.

But the determined Danesh resurfaced on Pop Idol minus the ponytail and beard and with a startling new attitude which took him all the way to the final three.

While Will Young and Gareth Gates were swept up in the euphoria of being the nation's new favourites, Danesh cannily melted away for months.

Darius Danesh
Danesh can now put that Britney Spears moment behind him
While his Pop Idol colleagues were breaking chart records with hastily-arranged cover songs, the Edinburgh lad was biding his time, and sure enough, scored a debut number one with Colourblind amidst far less fuss.

Danesh seems determined to be different, co-writing every track on his new album Dive In and stamping his name right through it like a stick of seaside rock.

Colourblind kicks off proceedings with its light, poppy, guitar-driven manner, easy lyrics and a memorable chorus and turns out to be a tentative test song for some of what lies ahead.

New single Rushes is hardly a quirky experiment lacking in pop sensibilities, but it is a rich, chugging, rock-tinged little ditty. And a chorus backed by a vein of Celtic fiddles is an electrifying treat.

The lush strings make a comeback in the album's title track, another strong song which sits comfortably in the rock-pop camp and has a hard-to-ignore uplifting vibe.

Coming third was possibly the best thing that ever happened to him

But Danesh is a man of more than one mood - he has a flair for whimsical lyrics, possesses a voice which can pour out moments of vulnerability, and has been blessed with other musicians who balance the equation.

I Gotta Know Tonight and sweet tune Girl In The Moon lay to rest the old image of Darius Danesh, the supremely over-confident Popstars hopeful who lacked sensitivity.

In contrast, Danesh, the successful solo singer-songwriter, seems to musically excel on this upbeat collection.

Sliding Doors is another rich feast of strings, guitars and layered instrumentation and sees Danesh's distinctive voice exercised to its fullest, while Mocking Bird is another cheery treat capable of beating the murkiest of moods.

If any comparisons have to be made with his former Pop Idol colleagues, then it is all in their voices.

Gareth has the boyish voice of an angel, Will is a honeyed tenor, while Darius is blessed with a chocolately baritone with an easy elasticity - and sounds superb on this album.

Dive In is a thoughtfully produced, even collection of songs with no nasty blips and a clutch of tunes which make a lasting impression - plus a hidden track to search for.

Danesh's rich voice is a beautiful instrument which blows his contemporaries out of the water - although as Pop Idol showed, it is not everyone's first choice.

His musical sensibilities have been allowed to shine through, and his rock-edged pop is reminiscent of a male Natalie Imbruglia.

Above all, he has made every effort to shake off his Pop Idol tag, and coming third was possibly the best thing that ever happened to him.

But better still, Danesh can look back on his Britney Spears moment and laugh it off for good with this piece of work under his belt.

Dive In by Darius is out now on Mercury Records.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Listen to a clip from Rushes

Listen to a clip from Colourblind

See also:

07 Aug 02 | Entertainment
04 Aug 02 | Entertainment
29 Jul 02 | Entertainment
02 Feb 02 | Entertainment
14 Oct 01 | Scotland
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