Savage Garden / Darren Hayes

Guilty Pleasure: the Australian group Savage Garden and its lead singer Darren Hayes, who’s gone on to a solo career.

Here is one of Savage Garden’s best songs:

Cool breeze and autumn leaves
Slow motion daylight
A lone pair of watchful eyes
Oversee the living

Feel the presence all around
A tortured soul
A wound unhealing
No regrets or promises
The past is gone

But you can still be free ….


Though there are many others; their popular earlier songs were “I Want You”, “To the Moon and Back”, and “Truly Madly Deeply” — and my favorite by far of their earlier songs, This Side of Me

I want to move in time with you
I want to breathe in rhyme with you…

For this one time, one time, let my body do what it feels
For just this one time, one time, let this fantasy become real

(There is a certain irony, if not duplicity, in the song, especially the video, since when they were released Darren Hayes had not yet come out as a gay man.)

As with many other groups and singers, e.g. REM and Bruce Springsteen, and as opposed to general popular opinion, I actually like Darren’s later albums better than the earlier albums. I like REM’s later albums better than the earlier ones; I like Bruce’s albums, roughly from Nebraska onward, better than his earlier ones. For Darren Hayes, I prefer his albums The Tension and the Spark, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, and Secret Codes and Battleships, over any of the earlier pop-catchy Savage Garden albums.

Though this particular Savage Garden album, Affirmation, displays a pattern I’ve noticed in more than one REM album: the last three songs on the album are the best; they raise the bar for the entire album, even if the songs are the least catchy. (Think REM’s Automatic for the People: “Man on the Moon”, “Nightswimming”, “Find the River”.)

On Savage Garden’s Affirmation, it’s the song linked above, and then Gunning Down Romance

Love and other moments are just chemical reactions in your brain, in your brain

And feelings of aggression are the absence of the love drug in your veins, in your veins…

–and then I Don’t Know You Anymore

I would like to visit you for a while
Get away and out of this city
Maybe I shouldn’t have called but someone had to be the first to break
We can go sit on your back porch
Talk about anything
It don’t matter
I’ll be courageous if you can pretend that you’ve forgiven me

A gentle, cautious, loving song about trying to make up after a break up…

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