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Darling Arithmetic Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length release for the Conor O'Brien solo project was self-recorded and produced at home.
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Top Track

Everything I Am is Yours
I am just a man to bend all the wires tight rope walking fool balanced on desire I can not control these ever changing ways so how can I be sure the... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 85
    In Darling Artihmetic Conor O'Brien has put together his best album under the Villagers moniker.
  2. Apr 14, 2015
    80
    While the album is willfully interior and musically conservative, it doesn’t ever feel cloistered, because of the emotional stakes that he keeps clearly in sight.
  3. Apr 9, 2015
    80
    Darling Arithmetic is rarely anything but elegant.
  4. Apr 15, 2015
    80
    It’s a graceful, beguiling and sumptuous set of songs, one worthy of both patience and praise, an extension of the excellence the Villagers brand introduced so early on.
  5. Under The Radar
    Apr 17, 2015
    75
    It's a tumultuous listen, but one that sweeps you up in its compassion, bravery, and beauty. [Apr - May 2015, p.88]
  6. Apr 13, 2015
    70
    An album that delivers a gorgeous, if somewhat restrained, step forward. It’s a document of quiet, if not necessarily earth-shattering, revelations.
  7. Apr 9, 2015
    40
    It never manages to be magical.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 28, 2015
    8
    Not as musically exciting as Awayland it is elegant and very personal Its as if you are right in the room with Conor O'Brien and he is singingNot as musically exciting as Awayland it is elegant and very personal Its as if you are right in the room with Conor O'Brien and he is singing directly to you. An album I find my self coming back to again and again. A great hangover listen. Expand
  2. Dec 22, 2019
    8
    After the beautifully melodic debut "Becoming A Jackal" and the equally beautiful but more experimental follow up "Awayland", long playerAfter the beautifully melodic debut "Becoming A Jackal" and the equally beautiful but more experimental follow up "Awayland", long player number three from Villagers arrives in the form of the mellow, acoustic guitar focused "Darling Arithmetic". Featuring only main creative force of the band "Conor O Brien", the album started out as a collection of demos for what was supposed to be album number 3. In the end it was decided to just go straight ahead and release them in their raw form. As usual with a Villagers record, the song writing is sublime. Every track features cleverly put together lyrics alongside sweet melodies. The themes of the album primarily centre around O'Brien's relationships and with his "coming out" as gay. It is a far more somber affair than previous efforts and the subject material is intriguing. Opener "Courage" is a nice introduction to the album, softly strummed with vocals echoing throughout. "Everything I Am is Yours" is a relatively up-tempo ballad, acoustic guitar driven with a nice little piano lick coming in from time to time. The mood takes a down turn on "Dawning on Me", a maudlin but prettily plucked song - nice drum beat gently kicks in about a minute in. "Hot Scary Summer" has elements of mellowed out Van Morrison, a tale of how much hard work it is being gay in modern society. At the centre of the album is one of the standout tracks, "The Soul Serene", a delicate, self pitying flower of a track with a cello and some brass to add to the atmospherics of the song. Title track "Darling Arithmetic" could have been lifted off Villagers previous albums, with similarities to the mellow material from their earlier work. "Little Bigot" is my favourite track from the album, even if there is a sense of "always the victim" creeping in to proceedings. It builds from a simmering folk song to a angsty country song in a way that highlights Conor O'Brien's talent as a songwriter. "Noone to Blame" and closer "So Naive" finish the album off in consistent style with the rest of the album without being overly remarkable.At 9 tracks, the brevity of "Darling Arithmetic" helps it gets away with its lack of stylistic and thematic variety. A good album, well worth checking out but perhaps lacking the ambition of Villagers first 2 albums. I look forward to the next step in O'Brien's career. Expand