CD REVIEW: Daniel Johns has lost his grunge
ARTIST: Daniel Johns
REVIEWER: Louise Richardson
VERDICT: 4 STARS
A HALF-naked, bejeweled Daniel Johns is grooving in a glass tank that's filling with sand.
The grunge is long gone, replaced by impressive falsetto, a beat to dance to and a scorpion.
The film clip to the new single from his solo record, Talk, is appropriately named Cool on Fire.
Yep, this Newcastle lad is definitely on fire, and not just in an eye candy way.
While early Johns fans waste their time pointing out that his new style is nothing like his angry rock roots and he's betrayed them by going soft, true fans will appreciate Johns' ability to master music, regardless of genre.
And he makes it look so damn simple. Talk is a 15-track album that opens with the previously-released Aerial Love and its hypnotic beat. It's refreshing, chilled out and feels like a rebirth or a cleansing from all that's gone before.
The lyrics are less cryptic, and it feels like Johns is enjoying himself as he plays with new sounds.
Prepare for a lot of high singing, trippy sound mixes and a ballsy beat.
I'm not sure how he'll go taking this album on the road as the falsetto will require an impressive set of lungs live, and how the songs translate outside the studio will be interesting.
For now, though, I'm happy to put the earphones in and bliss out to Talk.