Daren - “Lemon Grove” Album Review

posted February 15, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

The up and coming pop, rap and hip-hop artist Daren, is back with a brand new EP titled, “Lemon Grove.” Working for over two years now on this latest release, Daren faced multiple struggles with deadlines and pressures from the music industry which he subsequently utilized to fuel his drive and his music.

Having released several singles and EPs, Daren has slowly grown his discography one passion filled project at a time. Arguably best known for his song “I’m Hooked” from his 2016 EP, “My Life Became Beautiful,” Daren steadily built himself from the ground up, with his devoted fan base backing him all along the way.

His latest EP focuses on themes of distaste for the dark sides of social media as well as the unglamorous realizations one has when facing the overwhelmingly imposing consequences of celebrity. While struggling somewhat with defining his own specific sound, Daren is effectively able to integrate an array of tones and emotions into his music with near flawless ease.

Opening with the contemplative “Highlight Reel,” Daren effectively creates a captivating soundscape which is lifted by the song’s catchy chorus. The next track, “Tomorrow,” similarly to the album’s opening track, generates an interesting and pleasing flow of sonic grooves. Consisting of an inner monologue, Daren evaluates his life and whether he is happy with his current status through the use of the constant hook, “Do I even want this?” Cutting himself unfortunately too short, the track abruptly ends just as the music and the lyrics begin to really generate some interesting and mesmerizing beats as well as shed some light on the often unspoken personal thoughts of doubt of music artists.

The album continually rises in energy as the EP winds to an end, without ever really losing its traction. Transitioning seamlessly between loose, dance infectious tracks like “Petty In The Air” and “Switching Code” to personal and revealing songs like “Lover,” Daren effectively covers an extensive range of themes all without missing a beat.

“Count Me Out” in particular, highlights Daren’s budding unique aesthetic. Featuring a successful collaboration with Meghan Tonjes, the track is soothing and optimistic, which is a nice change of pace, almost like a breath of fresh air, from some of the other more somber themes that are weaved throughout the rest of the album.

Closing with the bright and fizzy “White Lies,” Daren sends the album off with a memorable and upbeat finish. With no real weak points on the album, “Lemon Grove” proves to be a relaxing and enjoyable listen for any fan of modern pop music. Not at all hindered by any sort of novice inexperience, Daren’s latest EP feels very cohesive, as if nearly every moment is given its own respective chance to shine in the spotlight. Fitting cozily in the pop mainstream with other notable contenders, “Lemon Grove” proves to be an album fans will love and newcomers will be pleasantly surprised to enjoy listening to. Emerging on his own distinctive sound, hopefully on a future release, Daren will be able to potentially solidify his style in order to create his own recognizable brand.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Track: “Count Me Out”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Track: “Tomorrow”


Scott Perdue is a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.