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The Darkness Christmas Time Don’t Let the Bells End Review

The Darkness Christmas Time Don’t Let the Bells End Review

Artist: The Darkness
Album: Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Hard Rock
Released: 2003
Length: 7 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Atlantic, Must Destroy

Track List:

01. Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)
02. I Love You 5 Times

Darkness Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) Cover

Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) is a festive EP by The Darkness in 2003 as a bid to grab the Christmas number 1 spot in the UK but landed second after losing out to the joyless Mad World by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews. The single was then featured as a bonus track on the rerelease of their debut album Permission to Land.

Both songs are rife with the same cheeky humour found on their debut album and since there are only 2 short songs on this EP, The Darkness manages make it more obvious than ever on Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) by letting the double entendres loose to sing about “bells end” “ringing in peace” during the festive season. The song also features a children’s choir and ends with bells and chimes to give it that authentic Christmas feeling while referencing the title in a musical context this time.

Justin Hawkins maintains his falsetto range and somehow restrains himself from his own flamboyant wailing only to let loose in a desperate plea to grab some attention from the choir when his own voice is buried by them on Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End).

I Love You 5 Times is a power ballad that is highlighted by its ridiculous lyrics in which Justin Hawkins confesses that “I watch as you spend an hour or two in the bath like a tuna” and “twice a week I take a peek as you bathe like a reptile”. If this wasn’t enough for you he purrs, moans along to the choppy guitar solo and ends the song with a kiss. The lyrics pull the ballad together and wouldn’t be the same without them whereas Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) is thoroughly enjoyable even if you are completely oblivious to the humour.

The Darkness put a brilliant, cheeky twist on Christmas cheer by bringing a duo of genuinely jovial songs to the table instead of rehashing tired Christmas classics like countless others have done before.

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The Darkness Permission to Land Review

Artist: The Darkness
Album: Permission to Land
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Hard Rock
Released: 2003
Length: 38 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Atlantic

Track List:

01. Black Shuck
02. Get Your Hands off My Woman
03. Growing on Me
04. I Believe in a Thing Called Love
05. Love is Only a Feeling
06. Givin’ Up
07. Stuck in a Rut
08. Friday Night
09. Love on the Rocks No Ice
10. Holding My Own

Darkness Permission to Land Cover

The Darkness Permission to Land Review

Permission to Land is the over the top debut album by The Darkness that features the flag song and lead single I Believe in a Thing Called Love that they quickly and deservingly became known for. The album throws back to the hard rock sound of the 70’s and 80’s, while overflowing with memorable guitar riffs and solos, audible bass (somewhat of a rarity in rock music), and the outrageous vocal talents of Justin Hawkins. The drums, while not getting as much of the spotlight, provide a solid backing to each song and have a more noticeable presence in the power ballads and during the bridges and breaks of the louder songs.

In addition to standard rock instrumentation, there are some incredibly brief and overly subtle uses of a keyboard on Get Your Hands Off My Woman and Holding My Own, a barely audible piano in Friday Night (which also features a low, quiet purring noise) and an acoustic guitar that shimmers on Love is Only a Feeling.

Hawkins’ voice stays firmly in the falsetto range for the majority of the album and isn’t afraid to flex his vocal cords to show off his abilities. There are some offbeat moments as well, such as on the albums opener, Black Shuck, in which he alternates between high notes most women couldn’t reach and a snarling tone before jumping back into the style that he has become known for. He later performs a 10 second shriek-slash-gargling noise that sounds like it came straight from the bowels of Hell itself.

His voice is pushed right to the limits on Stuck in a Rut (listen from the 2.40 marker) and the lyrics throughout this song (and sometimes others) become incomprehensible amidst his ear piercing performances. In between all of this, he somehow manages to find time to break off to perform a manic laugh that makes you think he’s fallen right out of his tree.

As you can judge from some of the song titles alone, lyrical themes revolve largely around love, making love, women, a mythical creature on Black Shuck and probably the most, if not only, upbeat song about using heroin I’ve ever heard (Givin’ Up).

With all the catchy, sing along moments and guitar solos combined with the fun loving, lively approach to both composition and performance, this is easily everything you’d want to hear on a rock album and doesn’t fail to deliver on anything.

External Links:

The Darkness Homepage
The Darkness on Wikipedia | Permission to Land on Wikipedia
The Darkness on Discogs | Permission to Land on Discogs